For years advertisers have been able to target their ads because of the data Social Media was able to collect. But now, with iOS 14.5’s App Tracking transparency feature, targeting basket weaving ads to people who like basket weaving is getting more difficult.
By requiring users to opt-in to data tracking across apps, Apple has removed a valuable pipeline of consumer information; what are we looking at, interested in, and what are we buying. Advertisers are being left in the dark as the majority of iPhone users have opted to not allow apps like Facebook to track their activity. If Facebook doesn’t know that you’re into basket weaving, it’s difficult to sell ad space to your favorite basket weaving supply company.
Facebook has a backup plan to deliver ads based on data they have accumulated based on your previous patterns but that is only a temporary fix. A more long-term solution is to reimagine what determines where an ad is placed and how they measure ad success. Change might be good but can be difficult to adjust to in the short-term.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks they might even emerge from this new data desert in a stronger position. Businesses might now opt to make sales directly within Facebook’s app rather than send customers to a website and risk losing the information along the way. Which might be good for Facebook, but bad for advertisers, like your favorite basket weaving supply company.
Small businesses will pave the way for change the most as they are the ones that heavily rely on Facebook ads to drive their sales.
Privacy and data safety have become hot issues and Apple has cited those privacy concerns as the main purpose for creating the App Tracking feature. At least that’s their spin on the issue.
Others think Apple is just in a data war with other major players like Facebook and Google. Whatever tech company has the most data, can make the most money. And by cutting off the data, Apple is serving a blow to their tech competitors.
Personally, I have opted in and allowed cross-tracking apps to continue their work. I prefer to see ads for things I like, rather than things I have no interest in.
Shopping is easier when the ads you see are based on things you want to buy. For instance, you don’t need to see ads for snowshoes when you live in the sunny south but if advertisers don’t know where you’re buying from, they don’t know what ads to send your way.
No matter how you choose to share or not share your information with Facebook and other apps, make sure you stay informed on your options and how your data can be used.
Share this post to help keep your friends informed on this issue by using the Share Buttons below. I really appreciate you helping spread the word about my Free Daily iPhone Tips! 🙂