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Facebook Gets Breather as Apple Delays Planned Upgrade to iOS 14 That Could Affect Ads

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Facebook Gets Breather as Apple Delays Planned Upgrade to iOS 14 That Could Affect Ads
Photo: Apple Inc

Apple announced that it will delay the privacy update with iOS 14 while giving developers some more time to adjust with its privacy rules and policies. This is a temporary relief to companies like Facebook, however, advertisers would need to work out for alternatives in the long run.

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) gets a much-needed breathing space as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) has decided to delay some crucial privacy-focused changes introduced in iOS 14 that could possibly affect Facebook’s ability to track users.

Online advertising giants like Facebook rely majorly upon their ability to track users on mobile and desktops. However, the social media giant is having a hard time after Apple’s latest release of iOS 14 during the WWDC 2020 in June.

Known for its privacy-centric policies, Apple decided to give more power in the hands of people and control over their data. With the iOS 14 update, if the iPhone user accesses the app for the first time, they would get an option to allow the app access to an identifier associated with the physical device.

Currently, the advertisers rely on the IDFA identifier for better targeting of ads and determine how well they work. The iOS 14 update seemed to be a spanner-in-the-wheel of Facebook’s advertising business, the company’s cash cow.

However, on Thursday, September 3, Apple said that it has delayed this upgrade for later this year or early 2021. Apple announced that it wants to give developers more time to adjust. Thus, it will update its App Store rules and policies sometime later. In the developer blog, Apple wrote:

“We are committed to ensuring users can choose whether or not they allow an app to track them. To give developers time to make necessary changes, apps will be required to obtain permission to track users starting early next year.”

Facebook Facing the Heat Due to Potential Launch of iOS 14 by Apple

Well, Apple’s statement makes it clear that they are in no way planning to get rid of the privacy features. It’s just that Facebook’s immediate worries have been delayed by some time. Facebook said that less access to the device identifier will have major implications for mobile advertising. With users getting the sharing control, advertisers expect that a majority will opt out of sharing it.

Since the removal of individual targeting, Facebook said that it saw over a 50% drop in its Audience Network publisher revenue. Before Apple’s announcement of the delay, Justin Scarborough, programmatic media director at PMG, told CNBC:

“It’s going to look a lot like the consent forms you see on websites now that say, ‘Do you agree to be tracked?’ And so we know that those adoption rates are pretty low, and we expect that it’s going to be pretty low with mobile as well.”

Apple said that they have no intention of attacking the advertising industry. Rather it calls this move as a core decision for offering privacy protection to users. It also said that strong privacy is one of the USPs for its users to chose the iPhone.

Other online advertisers have already started working on alternative ways of targeted advertising to its consumers. For marketers, mobile advertising has been important than ever before. Apple’s changes can also affect millions of small businesses that advertise on Facebook.

Business News, Mobile, News, Social Media
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