When Apple updated to its latest version, it rolled out new data collecting and sharing policies, specifically with how users interact with Facebook. The social media platform can no longer track user data without their explicit permission, forcing many digital marketers to rethink how Facebook ads can still be beneficial to both clients and users. At LDM, we’re always up for a new challenge, so let’s dive into how iOS14.5 has affected Facebook ads, and one clever solution we dreamed up for one of our clients.

What happened with iOS14.5?

Data privacy is a big topic these days, and when Apple rolled out their most recent software update in June 2021, the media giant decided to take a bold step forward in allowing users to be more proactive in how their data is tracked and shared. Rather than quietly mining data in the background, iPhone apps (such as Facebook) must prompt users to opt-in to tracking, giving them a choice on whether or not companies can use their data.

This is great news for those concerned about data privacy, which turns out to be a majority. Surveys show that 83% of users are concerned about how their data is being used, meaning that there’s a real possibility that many will opt out of tracking, leaving less data on the table for marketers.

What will happen to Facebook Ads?

The iOS14.5 update is directly affecting several key features within Facebook ads, including:

  • Target audiences (including lookalike audiences)
  • Remarketing
  • Conversion event tracking
  • Fully optimized ads

Having less data to pull from immediately strikes fear in entrepreneurial hearts, but while it’s true that things are changing, it’s not as doom and gloom as it may seem.

In light of this update, Facebook introduced a workaround solution called Aggregated Event Measurement, which processes Facebook pixel events on iOS devices. Pixels are small bits of code placed on a website to track conversions, optimized ads, and do all that behind the scenes magic marketers use to build campaigns.

The good news is that Facebook pixels can track website events while keeping iOS users’ personal information anonymous, allowing both effective campaigns and data privacy to coexist in harmony.

The bad news is that pixels can only track eight total events, which can cause a challenge for complex businesses, especially franchises that have countless locations.

Adapting to iOS changes

At LDM, we came across this issue for one of our clients who runs a franchised art studio. With over 90 locations joined by one website, tracking only eight events wasn’t going to cut it. The client requested we start building subdomains for each store, boosting the number of available pixels. But creating just under 100 new subdomains was going to be an expensive, time-consuming option no one really wanted to explore.

So we worked with our digad team to come up with a better solution, landing on a universal Facebook pixel: a single pixel placed on a shared code section of a website that captures data on every page. This gave our client the ability to join all their individual Facebook pages with their one shared website, providing the data we needed to advertise effectively.

“In an ever changing digital world it’s important to find creative solutions that save clients time, money, and stress. Sometimes you just need to look at the problem from a different angle.” – Caitlyn Hillier, Account Manager

Digital marketing always finds a way

Our team is always looking for the best, most effective ways to help reach our clients’ goals. Where others see roadblocks, we see opportunities, and we’re ready to jump over hurdles to help you grow your business. Our award-winning Chicagoland marketing agency works across countless industries, so let us help yours; kick off the conversation with a free 30-minute consultation today!

Meet Crystal Mack

Crystal Mack is a Senior Copywriter at Launch Digital Marketing. With a master's degree in Mass Communication and several published books to her pen name, she is a self-proclaimed word nerd and staunch supporter of the Oxford comma.