The fast approaching iOS 14 update from Apple could have an enormous and long-lasting effect on digital marketing strategy, largely thanks to the impact it may have on Facebook’s Audience Network advertising business.

Speaking on Wednesday through a company blog post, Facebook raised concerns that Audience Network could be rendered so ineffective on iOS 14 they may have to abandon it altogether on Apple devices in the not-too-distant future. Facebook estimates they could see a more than 50% drop in revenue from Audience Network.

Facebook advertising has become a powerhouse in the digital marketing industry, but with Apple looking to bolster user privacy, a major shakeup looks to be coming to the way companies advertise online.


How Does Facebook Advertising Work?

Currently, advertisers and marketers alike can use a unique device ID, known as an IDFA, to target their ads specifically and estimate how effective they will be on a particular audience. Apple is looking to change this through their next major update, which will require every app to ask users to opt into tracking on first launch. Facebook have already announced that their vast suite of apps will not collect IDFA information from iOS 14 onwards.

The Facebook Audience Network has been a game changing tool for digital marketing, allowing customers to deliver in-app ads targeted specifically to users based on their Facebook data. This has seen Facebook become one of the most widely used and effective ways to advertise in the digital space.


How Will iOS14 Impact Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

With more than 1 billion people being fed at least one ad delivered through Facebook’s Audience Network per month, this is set to cause major ripples throughout the digital and social media marketing space.

However, this announcement shouldn’t cause you to reach for the panic button just yet. A vast amount of those 1 billion people being shown Facebook ads are Android and browser users, who won’t feel any impact from this update. There is also time for this constantly evolving situation to change yet again — iOS 14 still has no concrete release date, although it is expected to launch sometime this year. This gives digital marketing strategists and consultants time to start planning for a future where Facebook advertising is less effective to those entrenched in the Apple ecosystem.

These big changes coming to Apple products prove just how fluid and rapidly evolving the digital marketing space can be, and how important it is to stay on your toes.

About Lee Paton

I am a digital marketing expert with 16 years’ experience. I am passionate about helping my clients grow their businesses using real life experience and digital strategies that really work. My digital experience spans across a range of industries including tourism, travel, sports, gaming, events, music, entertainment, not-for-profit, government and private industries and sectors. Get the ‘big agency’ experience with a one-on-one focus.