The upcoming iOS update has Facebook running scared and anxious! Apple has decided to include an incredible feature in their soon to be released iOS 14 which will definitely make their consumer’s lives easier. But, on the other side, it will disrupt that of advertisers and marketer around the world. And that is making Mark Zuckerberg furious!
It has come to light that Facebook is warning its developers about the privacy changes that will be integrated into the iOS 14 update. According to media reports, this particular update is going to throw a huge curveball at Facebook’s business model of generating revenue from advertisements.
The upcoming iOS update is allegedly all set to curtail the social media giant’s ability to track users’ activities across their entire app ecosystem and obviously all over the internet. This, in turn, is obviously going to lead to Facebook failing to serve targeted ads to iPhone users.
Along with its many new and improved features, Apple’s iOS 14 which is scheduled for release sometime in the fall, requires the app developers and publishers to notify their users if their app is collecting unique device code aka IDFA or ID for Advertisers.
So now, the question arrives why exactly IDFA is the most coveted information for advertisers?
The IDFA is a randomly generated code which Apple assigns to a user’s device and it is quite similar to something which Google does for Android devices as well. Basically, these assigned codes can help various apps to tie a particular user’s activities together.
Facebook and other advertising businesses can utilise the codes to monitor cross-app data and then place targetted ads accordingly.
The problem with the proposed update that is coming with iOS 14 is the fact that an opt-in warning will end up making the IDFA quite useless as most people are much likely to not allow it. Thus, all the Facebook apps on iOS 14 such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, and a host of others will no longer be able to collect users’ IDFA.
In a blog post about the same, Facebook has explained that the particular change, despite their very best efforts, possesses the ability to render the ‘Audience Network’ completely ineffective and thus it may not exactly make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future.
Additionally, they went on to further mention that their ability to deliver highly targetted ads on iOS 14 will be extremely limited as a result of the newly proposed feature. Users will still see ads but they will, unfortunately, be less relevant.
The New iOS 14 Updated: Affected Cash Cow Of Facebook
Facebook’s anxiety and overwhelming concern over this new update from Apple is quite justified. In plain terms, it basically means the latter is trying to shave off a significant portion of their revenue.
By now, it is well known that advertising is a major component of Facebook’s sustainability. In 2019, their advertising revenue reached an all-time high of $69,655 million which represents 98.5% of the total revenue.
If and when Apple implements this update, because of the reduced ability of advertisers to accurately target and measure their campaigns, Facebook fears that various app developers and publishers will likely experience lower CPMs on the iOS Audience network.
This, in turn, will obviously lead to global brands reducing their marketing spend on Facebook’s platform which will impact Facebook’s business model severely.
No Prior Notice Given To Facebook
Other than being unhappy with Apple’s decision, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg also seems quite upset that Apple decided to go forward with this move without consulting with the leading app publishers who mostly rely on advertising.
In the same blog, Facebook writes that they believe industry consultation is very much critical for such major changes in platform policies. Thus, they look forward to continuing engaging with various industry and trade groups in order to ‘get this right for people and small businesses.’
The Zuckerberg led social media giant is very much certain that if iOS users will be provided with an option not to opt-in, they will most certainly say yes to that.
Facebook’s extremely appreciable online activity tracking ability on cross platforms has played a crucial role in their advertising strategy since 2013 wherein they acquired a product called Atlas for close to $100 million from Microsoft. Nonetheless, with the upcoming update, Apple might just have put an end to that, at least on iPhone and iPad.
It would be interesting to see what strategy Facebook employs in the future to counter Apple’s new policy. Facebook, for sure, cant afford to dump iPhone users, especially when a majority of people in the US – the biggest contributor to Facebook’s revenue – own an iPhone.
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