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What the New Apple Rules Mean for Ads for Your Business

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Apple has been rolling out a new feature with their most recent update. Have you seen something similar to this pop up on your iPhone recently?

Apple has taken this step to ensure privacy for users that use apps that are sold in the App Store (which, spoiler alert, is every single app on an iPhone). Many people are applauding Apple's choice to require apps to get consent before they track a user's data. Apple has turned something that was once buried deep in the Terms and Conditions of an app into a push notification that takes up your whole screen. You know who isn't thrilled about this update? Advertisers and those who sell targeted digital ads that utilize tracked data. One of the largest, most affective sellers of targeted digital ads is Facebook, and they're really displeased with Apple right now.

Facebook released a press release with some pretty harsh accusations towards Apple, and they framed their stance as "sticking up for the little guys", but let's be honest here - Facebook likes to eat the little guys for breakfast. Facebook brought up the point that many small business use their targeted ads to advertise to very niche audiences that are interested in their products, which is true. They also brought up the point that Apple's own personalized ad platform won't be subject to this pop up notification policy, which is also true. So Facebook does have some good points. But what does this big tech clash mean for your business's advertising dollars? Let's get into it.

Facebook is concerned that many users will use this push notification as a chance to opt out of having their data tracked by an app, and if they do that, Facebook will lose a lot of valuable information that is uses to make sure your business's ads get to the correct audience on Facebook and Instagram. If a user opts out, Facebook won't be able to see that the user was searching for a new skincare product on Amazon so Facebook won't be able to advertise skincare products to that user on Facebook and Instagram. You see the problem.

This is exactly what Facebook fears, and they are accusing Apple of driving advertisers to Apple's own ads platform. Facebook tracks a lot of data but ... so does Apple, and you won't be seeing any push notifications that allow you to easily opt out of Apple tracking your data. Facebook says, "... Apple’s own personalized ad platform is exempt from the new prompt requirement they’ve imposed on other companies. By default, Apple uses data it collects — including in-app purchase data that Apple collects from within apps owned by other companies — to improve the efficacy of Apple’s own ads products. And, if people don’t want Apple using their data for ads, they’ll have to go find the control deep within their iPhone settings." We've got to agree with Facebook on this, it seems majorly unfair that Apple isn't easily allowing users to opt out of their data mining while making it easy to opt out for every other company.

While Facebook is trying to put up a fight, most regular people are glad to have the new, easy options for privacy. Forbes has already released an article praising the changes and giving readers a step-by-step guide on how to stop apps from tracking their data. And Forbes specifically calls out Facebook's extreme amount of data tracking. Check out the screen shot below from Forbes showing all the data Facebook tracks from a user who doesn't opt out. It's ... a lot.

All in all, yes, this update could really mess up how your business spends its digital advertising dollars on Facebook's suite of apps. But because Facebook doesn't want to lose your advertising dollars, they are already hard at work to find a solution that can track user data in a way that allows targeted ads but doesn't involve sensitive information or location (insane that Facebook was even using that to advertise, brb turning that off on our phones right now). It might be a bumpy couple of months as the digital advertising world rides this out, so be patient and start to get creative on where you're spending your dollars. There is an advertising world outside of Facebook. Now we just have to go test it out.

Need help navigating the changes and want to create a digital advertising plan that's affective for your business? Media A La Carte specializes in just that. Reach out now.

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