October 2021

What Is iOS 14? 

iOS 14 is Apple’s latest operating system for iPhones. The update has introduced new privacy features across the system, but what has this meant for advertisers across digital platforms? In this blog, we find out!


iOS 14 is Apple’s latest operating system for iPhones. iOS 14 updates the core experience of the iPhone with redesigned widgets on the home screen, a new way to automatically organise apps with the app library, and a compact design for phone calls and Siri, just to name a few.

But the most significant changes, especially for marketers around the world, are the new iOS 14 privacy features. The update centres on advertisement tracking and granting users more control over their data. 

The privacy update now requires all apps in the App Store to show a prompt to its users on iOS devices essentially asking the user for permission for the app to track them outside the platform. Unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14 via this prompt, the new policy prohibits certain data collection and sharing. 


What Are The Key Effects Of iOS 14 On Facebook Ad Performance?

The businesses and brands who run Facebook Ads and Facebook Business Tools to target audiences, track web conversion events and optimise ads have been most effected by this update. 

If iOS users opt out of Facebook’s tracking, the domino effect that result from this are as follows: 

Delayed Reporting

For iOS 14 devices, real-time reporting is not supported and data can be delayed for up to 3 days

No Conversion Tracking

Facebook ad conversions are not tracked by users who opted out of iOS 14 tracking.  Advertisers must therefore anticipate lower conversion rates in reports.

Weakened Targeting Options

As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, the size of advertisers app connections, app activity custom audiences and website custom audiences decrease

This means the ability for marketers to create hyper-personalised ads to audiences are hindered.  

Smaller Retargeting Pool

Instead of the standard 28 day conversion window, the time range is now 7 days to capture iOS conversions.

A Limitation Of 8 Conversion Events Per Website Domain

For each domain, there will now be a limit of 8 events that can be tracked, i.e. 8 pixel-based events, or 8 custom conversion events. Typically, most Facebook Ad accounts don’t use up the full eight events, but there are exceptions. 

Have Google Ads Also Been Effected?

Because the new update limits data access, advertisers on Google, just like on Facebook, have less information to inform Google Ads optimisations. The good news is that Google Search ads still rely heavily on keywords to drive the traffic coming in and don’t necessarily need detailed demographic data in order to show ads to relevant traffic.

Yet, there are still some changes which have affected ad performance and tracking:

Changes to Conversion Attribution

Similarly to Facebook, there are fewer conversions attributed to Google Search ads since the platform is unable to track detailed user journeys. As a result of this, advertisers have seen a drop in direct reported conversions and under-reported data in the Google Ads platform. 

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

Because users have the ability to opt-out of data tracking, Google Analytics is unable to populate as accurate and complete remarketing lists as it previously has. Advertisers are still able to use RLSA campaigns, but the list has shrunk as users have opted-out of data.

Reduced Segmentation

Due to the decrease in information about a user’s gender, age, and income, it is now more difficult to fully define the audience that engages with Google ads.

Enhanced Conversion Modelling

To mitigate the effects of these changes, Google has enhanced their ‘modelled’ conversion metrics. Google models conversion events to account for some cross-device and view-through conversion. 



We are Aura Ads, a unique performance creative agency designed for D2C eCommerce brands. For more discussions and tips from our experts, head over to our blog page or get in touch with any questions you may have.

Written by Kate, for Aura Ads.

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