iOS 14.5 Updates: How Influencers Can Rescue Declining Facebook Ad Performance

Taryn Williams

Are your Facebook ads failing since the iOS 14.5 update? Find out how Apple’s latest update has changed the Facebook Ads landscape for good and how you can leverage influencer marketing to keep costs down and revenue up.

Would you show a stranger the contents of your iPhone?

Probably not.

Because, when it comes to your information, privacy matters.

That’s also the logic behind Apple’s latest iOS 14.5 update which gives users more control over how their data is collected and used by publishers and advertisers - and is causing serious problems for brands who rely on paid social campaigns.

To simplify a complex situation, the new privacy options are limiting what Facebook can accurately track through tools like Facebook Pixel. When data is less accurate it becomes less effective. And when the accuracy of data suffers, paid social campaigns become less effective too. 

Right now, the latest iOS update negatively impacts your ad performance in three ways:

  • Targeting
  • Reporting
  • Optimising

If your brand is running paid ads on social media, we don’t need to tell you how important those are to a successful, cost-effective, and profitable campaign. So if you’re worried about your ad performance, curious about the new social media landscape, or looking for ways to keep delivering high-performing campaigns, we’ve got you covered.

Read on to find out how you’ll be affected by Apple’s latest iOS updates, and how you can use #gifted to maintain the performance of your marketing campaigns.

What did the iOS 14.5 update actually do?

Alongside the usual host of new features (now you can unlock your iPhone wearing a mask!), Apple shone the spotlight a seriously controversial feature.

App Tracking Transparency.

Put simply, Apple’s new feature allows users to opt-out of data collection.

Before the iOS 14.5 updates, apps could use a range of tools to track data. Apple’s own system was one of these tools, known as IDFA. This stands for Identifier for Advertisers and is a unique ID number assigned to each iOS device.

This identifier is used to target and measure the effectiveness of advertising at a granular level. Similar to a third-party cookie on a desktop browser, IDFA lets advertisers track a user's interaction within a smartphone app. From clicks to downloads and purchases, this info is then used to create personalised ads targeted to people’s online behaviour.

This info is how your ads end up in front of the right people. If you’re selling shoes, it helps to know that a potential customer spent the afternoon browsing their fav shoe brands online. You want to stay top of mind for those people - and data collection helps make that happen.

Before the latest iOS update, IDFA was turned on by default and users could turn it off any time they liked. So this isn’t *technically* a new feature.

But now, users of an app will see this prompt.

A prompt from the app asking to allow Facebook to track

On a personal level, this is making a lot of people very happy. 59% of Australians have experienced problems relating to their data in the past 12 months, so the choice to turn off tracking is a popular one for consumers.

But most ad campaigns target users based on their online behaviour (you might have been running these campaigns too). If that online behaviour isn’t tracked, ads will become less personalised, and those ads are likely to be less effective.

Every app that wants to track its users’ data on other apps and websites now has to ask permission first. And if the user chooses not to be tracked it means the app can’t track data, not with Apple’s IDFA system or ANY other system.

For brands who rely on paid social ad campaigns, users opting out of activity tracking and data collection will impact the ability to:

  • Target audiences
  • Create personalised experiences
  • Measure campaign effectiveness

If you’ve been using Facebook ads to reach customers, you’ll need to act fast to avoid campaign drop-off.

Can I wait and see what happens to my ads?

Not if you want to maintain the performance of your campaigns.

According to recent figures, just 12% of people worldwide have opted into IDFA tracking. That leaves the majority of people enjoying a greater level of privacy… but it puts your social ads at a serious disadvantage.

Before Apple’s update, you could see if someone has visited your website and run targeted ads to them. Those ads had a better chance at converting because you *knew* the ad recipient was on your site, so they’re probably keen on your products and services.

Following the update, you’ll have less granular data. That means smaller audiences, less accurate reporting, and decreased ad performance.  Of course, this only matters if consumers continue to opt out.

So here’s the bad news…

They are opting out. In HUGE numbers.

Since the update, which was announced in June of 2020 and launched on April 21, 2021, 94.5% of iOS 14.5 users offered the chance to restrict tracking have turned it off. With fewer people allowing apps to collect their data, the effect on social media ad campaigns and retargeting has been significant.

Your Facebook ad targeting becomes less accurate when it knows less about users. That means you end up paying more money trying to reach the right audience. And that’s not great for your next campaign.

What happens to your ad campaign if more users opt-out?

If iOS users choose to opt out of Facebook’s tracking, the domino effect on your brand is easy to map out. And it’s not great viewing.

Phase One: If Facebook can’t track user behaviour, the effectiveness of Facebook’s tracking pixel is weakened.

Phase Two: With an inefficient tracking pixel, you experience inaccurate reporting across conversions, remarketing efforts, and everything in between.

Phase Three: Inaccurate reporting means your targeting options are weakened and your ads are no longer hyper-personalised.

Phase Four: Without hyper-personalised ads, your campaigns see more wasted spending and reduced ROI.

But that’ll do for doom and gloom (we’ve had more than enough of that over the past two years!!!). There’s a simple solution that’s become impossible to ignore...

An animated look of Facebook's platform

How to react to the iOS update and come out winning?

Data depreciation isn’t coming - it’s already here.

If you’ve been running Facebook or Instagram ads, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a decline in performance already. Finding alternatives to traditional tracking can help you drive value instead of trying to squeeze shrinking value from a Facebook ad campaign.

Does that mean you should cancel your Facebook ads, delete your account, and head back to MySpace?


Facebook ads still have a place in a social media marketing strategy, but you’ll need to diversify if you want to stretch your marketing budget further and enjoy maximum ROI.

83% of consumers have concerns about how their data is collected and used. While the Apple vs. Facebook beef is dominating the headlines, it’s the consumers behind this iOS change that should stay top of mind.

Remember, Apple isn’t making sweeping changes to its operating system for no reason. They’re acting because people want a more authentic experience when dealing with brands online. And what’s the most authentic way to connect your brand with an audience hungry for transparency and honesty?

Influencer marketing.

How influencers can help you avoid the impact of recent iOS changes

With Apple’s latest changes, hyper-targeting your ad campaigns will become a challenge. What was previously an advertising bullseye is now a shot in the dark to hope you’re speaking to the right audience.

Partnering with influencers eliminates this problem. 

Remember, every disruption offers challenges… and opportunities. 🏆

Building relationships is the future of marketing. By leaning on an influencer’s existing audience, you can choose what demographic to speak to and create powerful social proof. Forget about third-party cookies, privacy concerns, or data collection. Instead of trying to chase your audience from one website to the next, focus on building authentic communities that come to you.

In an era when people don’t want ads to chase them around the internet, influencer marketing combines the authenticity of individual creators with your brand voice to create a branded ad that doesn’t look or feel like an ad at all. 

Your brand exists as native content in users’ feeds, and the recommendation from their favourite influencer helps build trust and authority that translates to sales.

Find the world's best influencers on #gifted

Acclimatising to these iOS changes now is crucial to ensure you don’t lose marketing momentum. 

Finding new ways to connect with your audience in 2022 is more important than ever. Instead of chasing individuals across the web, leverage an influencer’s existing audience to tap into followers who are hungry for product suggestions and recommendations.

More than a fad, influencers drive purchasing decisions with 49% of consumers depending on influencer recommendations.

But remember, it’s not enough to jump on IG and start looking for influencers with a ton of followers or a great vibe. The key to maximising influencer marketing ROI is to find and nurture relationships with the right influencers.

And with #gifted, finding the world’s best influencers is easy.

Start #gifting with the worlds best influencers and creators.

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