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Consequences of the release of iOS 14 for the operation of Facebook advertising tools

In the summer of 2020, Apple announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference that with the release of the iOS 14 mobile operating system in the fall of 2020, new privacy rules would come into effect — the advertising identifier of Apple devices (IDFA) will be able to collect personal data only with the consent of the user. However, the company later postponed these changes until spring 2021.

New iOS privacy rules

Apple’s new privacy rules provide the appearance of a window on the smartphone when opening a new application with the information that the application can track your actions. The user can choose “Ask the application not to track” or “Allow”. It is worth noting that the text is written very directly, and the cancel button is placed below, which makes it easier to click.

If the user allows his actions to be tracked, he will see personalized advertising in the future. If he refuses, the amount of advertising will not decrease, but it will be less relevant.In this way, Apple prevents apps or websites from collecting and sharing data unless a person using a smartphone with iOS 14 opts out of having their activities tracked. Some iPhone owners will opt out of tracking, so ad personalization and performance reporting will decrease.

​​What will the changes affect

The social network Facebook reacted negatively to the ability of Apple users with iOS 14 to prohibit tracking and said that such an innovation “will be devastating to small businesses, adding to the many challenges they face right now”. The company said Apple’s new policy is about making money, not privacy. “It will force businesses to turn to subscriptions and other in-app payments for revenue, meaning Apple will profit and many free services will have to start charging or exit the market”, Facebook said.

Changes in advertising tools after the release of iOS 14

Once Apple launches new privacy rules, then:


  1. Audience sizes will become smaller.
  2. One application will be allowed to create up to nine campaigns for Apple’s new operating system. Each will be able to add a maximum of five ad groups with the same type of optimization. It applies to ads that are optimized for in-app conversion events.
  3. There will be no way to change the position of the campaign switch for iOS 14 after it is published – you must either delete the campaign or disable it completely.
  4. It will be possible to associate an application with only one advertising account. At the same time, it will be possible to run advertisements for different applications from one account.
  5. When developing campaigns for the mobile operating system iOS 14, the “Reach and frequency” buying type will not be available to access, but you can use “Auction”.
  6. Detailed targeting will work worse because, without specific information about potential consumers, less relevant advertising will be presented.
  7. The lookalike audience will take longer to prepare because there will be less data to build.
  8. For conversions and web conversions, breakdowns of all users by impression (geographical location, age, gender) and actions will not work.
  9. The ability to analyze campaigns in real-time will disappear, and indicators will be generated with a delay of up to three days.
  10. The pixel will be able to optimize for a maximum of eight conversion events for one domain.
  11. The settings of the account attribution window will change. Once the new privacy rules go into effect, the attribution window for all ad campaigns will be automatically set to “7 days after click” and moved to the ad group level.

What should be done now

Facebook has issued guidance for those working with advertising tools on the social network on how to prepare for Apple’s latest privacy rules. These tips can be applied right now:


  • Install the Facebook SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1. It will personalize your ads and allow you to receive data about in-app conversion events.
  • You need to confirm the domain of the site in the Business Manager. This action will help to avoid an error when displaying site promotion campaigns. It is also important for a +1 top-level domain. The process is necessary for domains that contain Facebook pixels of personal advertising accounts or several companies. Once the event aggregation data is available, the verified domain will allow you to configure pixel conversion events.
  • If several pixels are configured on the site, it is better to leave only one.
  • In the Event Manager, select eight main conversion events for each domain and prioritize them. The rest of the conversion events will not be applied, but thanks to them, it will be possible to generate incomplete reports in the Ads Manager tool and set up targets for website visitors.

A more detailed analysis of how Facebook’s advertising tools will be affected by iOS 14 new privacy rules will be available after the release. However, Facebook’s recommendations should be applied now.

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