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Big changes are coming to your Facebook ads platform and Facebook reporting because of Apple IOS14 update. To get ahead of the changes and exactly what they mean keep reading!

Facebook Advertising: The Apple Update and Changes You Need to Make Now.

I’m delighted that Alex Platt could join me on my Monday lunchtime livestream to delve into the nitty gritty information surrounding Facebook advertising and the changes for Apple. She really is an expert on this subject!  I invited Alex along to speak specifically about the new Apple IOS14 system update that is impacting Facebook Ads. And more importantly what we need to be doing if we ever want to run Facebook Ads again!

About Alex

Alex has supported small business owners with their marketing needs for nearly seven years now. For the past four years Alex has focused on Facebook and Instagram ads strategies.  Her approach is to provide clear and simple strategies that lead to increased sales – I like the sound of that!

An illustration of a girl who is arranging social media logos onto to a grey notice board. The girl is wearing a green t-shirt. She is getting ready and organising her social media in preparation for the new Apple IOS changes.

So, what’s going on with Facebook Ads in 2021 and how will the Apple IOS14 system update affect Facebook Ads?

An illustration of a girl who is standing with her foot upon a huge green exclamation mark. She is wearing a grey jumper and has her arm over her face. It looks like she is struggling especially with all of the changes that Apple ISO 14 will brin

Alex explained a bit about the background around the Facebook Ad changes and the Apple IOS14 system release.

In June 2020, Apple announced a change to their phone operating system. The release of IOS14 will impact anyone using an Apple device (iPhone, iPad). The tech giant has developed ‘app tracking transparency’.  This prompts all Apple device users to confirm whether they are willing to allow an app to track their personal usage. This will be for all apps including Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon to name a few.


What normally happens is that an app can see what you’re up to. It can see what you are looking at inside the app; for example, in Facebook what groups you belong to, who you regularly interact with and so on. This continual monitoring allows the app to personalise your experience. In a nutshell this means that the ads that appear on your screen are targeted just for you and reflect your interests.

With the IOS14 update, the Apple user will see a pop-up message appear asking them to allow the app to track their data. This will be for ALL apps. The user decides whether to agree or not.

It’s anticipated that around 60% of Apple iPhone and iPad users will say no and not permit apps to monitor their activity and track their behaviour. This IOS14 impact on Facebook Ads is already significant. When the rollout of the change is complete, those users who say no will lose their personalised experience in the apps on their devices and will be seeing more adverts that I’m guessing won’t be of interest.

The challenges: Apple IOS14 and Facebook Ads

Currently, business owners who run Facebook Ads can see data on how their ads are performing. They can see whether people are taking action directly from the ads and can follow their journey from clicking on the ad right through to the completion of a sale as a result of the ad. All this information is so valuable as it allows us to target people based on their level of interaction, for example if people click on an ad and then “add to cart” on the associated web page but don’t go onto complete the purchase you can serve Facebook ads to these specific people.  IOS14 Facebook advertising is going to look a bit different as this tracking won’t all be available for those Apple users!

What Facebook ad activity will we be able to see with the Apple IOS14 Update?

As you’ll know, if you run Facebook Ads, you can see a wealth of information. You can see all activity such as clicks on the ad, what pages on the website were visited, abandoned cart, checkout and more. These activities are known as ‘events’.

This illustration of a woman wearing a black jumpsuit and green t-shirt holding a green apple tablet examining a board with diagrams and writing on. Creating a plan for coping with the changes Apple have made means that you will have to think laterally.

Apple have confirmed that for users who opt out of tracking, they will report on just one event. This will allow business owners to choose the priority event for their business, but the whole customer journey will not be tracked and advertisers will have more limited data.

Did you know about ‘in-app’ browsers?

Not many people realise that when they click a link from Facebook to open a page on a website that they don’t actually leave Facebook’s platform. These opened links occur within Facebook’s in-app browser. This means that when an Apple user clicks a link, you won’t be able to capture all their activity on your website either (apart from the one priority event that Apple will send back).

But not all is lost! If you have a pixel coded into your website you will be able to track data that happens elsewhere, for example, if someone goes over to Safari and visits your website from there. That data will still be owned by you and reported to Facebook.

The attribution of ad data in Facebook Ads Manager

Previously in Facebook Ads Manager we’ve been able to track up to 28 days’ worth of customer activity data. This was incredibly useful as it enables us to track the whole customer journey. Now, Facebook have changed this to only seven days. This is going to make it difficult to see accurate results for those long running campaigns. 

Your best bet is to mark in your diary every seven days to export the data before it disappears.

Organic social media reach and the IOS14 update

Unfortunately, the Apple IOS14 update is going to affect your organic reach for your business pages too. As we all know, Facebook will send your business page posts to people who like to see your posts, stay on them for a while, stop scrolling when they see them and frequently like and comment on them.

This is going to come to an end for Apple users who have opted out of app tracking. These users are not likely to see the content Facebook detects they are interested in. Facebook could be a very different experience for them, both for business pages they follow, but also groups they are in and their friend’s activity.

When will these Apple IOS14 changes really start to make an impact?

Rumours have it that the big difference will be felt from 2022 onwards. The change was announced last summer, and the roll out started in Q4 of 2020. The impact in Facebook Ads manager has started to show with the recent changes, but Alex says that it will be felt more significantly towards the end of this year.

But one thing we can all be sure of is change. Facebook innovates and changes constantly so it’s hard to say exactly what will happen and what effects we will encounter.

What can we do now?

We’ve just learnt from Alex that we won’t be able to track interaction as easily for these Apple users. We also need to be aware that performance reporting will be massively impacted too.

So, if you are running Facebook ads now or plan to in the future, here’s some great tips from Alex:

  • You must set up a business manager (NOT use your personal ads manager) to control your page, pixel, etc from the one place.
  • Once you have done this, you must then verify your website domain in Facebook. You can only do this from the business manager, under Brand Safety. Alex says it’s just a simple piece of coding, but she’s always on hand if you need help with this. You must also consider third party domains too such as lead pages as these will all need to be verified too.
  • Once you have your website domain verified, you can set up your event priorities in events manager. As Apple will only send back one priority event, make sure that you have set them up in order of importance (e.g., lead, complete registration, add to cart, purchase).
an illustration of a young girl standing by a laptop holding a white tick in a green circle. Once you have a plan and follow these steps it should put you back in control, and they will help you to get the best out of the Apple changes.
  • Be prepared that ad reporting is not going to be as accurate as it was before. To capture results off the app you can, for example, duplicate landing pages to track your results elsewhere. So, if it is a lead magnet, you could have a separate landing page that only Facebook Ads go though, then when people sign up there, it tags the subscriber in your email system so you can see how many new subscribers came from Facebook Ads.
  • Capture your offline data in a spreadsheet. This could come from face-to-face customers or if you sell through a sales team. You can then upload this data to Facebook Ads and Facebook will report on their activity. You would need to set this up before running ads as an Offline Data Set.
  • It’s good practice to think about your old school marketing. Don’t rely on just one element of marketing. Build your email list this year and use this method to truly nurture and build strong relationships with your clients. Update your website’s SEO so you achieve more hits when someone searches for what you have to offer. Take part in some PR too.

But remember, all is not lost, your ads still likely be just as effective – there are still a lot of people who use Facebook on Android devices and desktops. You just need to be aware of the changes so that you can prepare – split out your ads to the different users for example.

What you might find useful to do is to find your estimated return on ad spend. Look at your total revenue for the month and divide this by how much you spent on ads. This will show a return generally on your marketing. Remember Facebook Ads are only one touch point in your customer and client marketing.

If Facebook is making you really confused with all of the changes lately, you might want to read my blog, How to navigate your way around Facebooks new layout about the new layout to help you get to some of the vital areas you may need in the coming weeks/ months.

How to get hold of Alex

If you are thinking about running Facebook or Instagram Ads, Alex offers a variety of support. She offers monthly done for you management, done with you ‘Kick Start Your Ads Strategy Sessions’ or an affordable ‘Pick and Mix Power Hour’ for just £97.00 where you choose what specific help and support you need for an hour – ideal if you want help with verifying your domain (or even ask Alex to do it for you)! If you’re not sure what help you need, you can book a free consultation with Alex first to find out more about what support would be best for you. To book in head over to

What’s coming up?

An image of Becs holding a poster. On the poster reads ‘coming up’ in green. Here is a list of what’s coming up.

I really hope you enjoyed reading about the recent Facebook Ad changes – don’t forget the IOS14 release will result in Instagram advertising changes too.


With all this talk of Facebook Ads and IOS14 we’ve all learnt the answer to ‘how will IOS14 affect Facebook advertising’ thank to the talented Alex Platt.

For further help and to find ways to improve your organic reach my upcoming online Facebook workshop could be just the thing you need!

My online workshop – Improve Your Facebook Business Page – starts on 23rd March 2021 for four days (one hour every day) where I tell you exactly how to use Facebook for marketing without spending money on advertising.

Don’t delay booking as it’s a popular one and is limited to 10 people!

Becs Bate
Social Media Consultant, Social Media Executive


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