iOS 14 Opt-in and Facebook Ads

Updated: Jun 10, 2021 | Sherwin Sanchez | 2 mins.

iOS 14.5 Update has rolled out
- week 7

At the end of April, Apple rolled out the much-discussed iOS14.5.

Prior to this, Facebook was able to hoover up as much data as it could on both the Facebook platform and across the wider web. This tracking of user behaviour gave Facebook huge amounts of data, which in turn helped the targeting of Facebook ads.

For example, if a user browsed a few Ford dealer sites, Facebook would know that the user was potentially in the market for a new Ford and other car brands/dealers etc. ads could then be targeted at that in-market buyer. 

Apple’s iOS14.5 update has meant users now have to opt-in to allow apps to track them. This will impact how Facebook ads campaigns are run and reported on and there are a number of steps an advertiser needs to take to minimize the impact on their ad account. If you haven’t already prepared for this you can read our previous article on how to prepare your account.

What's changed? Do Facebook ads still work?

Flurry Analytics, from Verizon Media, has been tracking the opt-in rates once a user upgrades to iOS14.5, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Below is the opt-in rate over the first seven weeks following the launch of iOS 14.5.

Worldwide 7 weeks in (25 May 2021) only 14% have opted to allow tracking (Vs the predictions pre launch of around 40%).

In the US, which may be a better representation of what’s happening in Australia, only 6% are opting in.

You can dig into the full breakdown further here.

What does this data mean?

It is important to note that while iOS14 rolled out on April 26, users will not all update at the same time. The migration to iOS14 will take place over a number of months so the true numbers and impact won’t be immediate. 

As a Facebook ad agency, what are we currently focused on?


Retargeting campaigns are hugely successful for a number of our clients and regularly account for 20+% of budgets.

We are monitoring the size of our retargeting lists on a weekly basis to see if they are shrinking.

We have also got a breakdown of the percentage of traffic from iOS to each of our client’s websites, so we can assess the potential impact on the retargeting list (for most of our clients, 25 -30% of all traffic is on an Apple device).

The role of content creation (that can be used for audience building on Facebook) will grow slightly in the future as we look for alternate ways to maintain our remarketing options. 

Facebook AI

We have never been an agency that lets Facebook’s AI do all the work, but even more so now that the conversion window has changed, meaning fewer ads are seeing the magic 50 conversions per week number). We are paying close attention to lookalike audiences and the larger broader audiences that are running. 

First-party data – Mailing list, Transaction data etc.

We have been working with our clients to ascertain any owned databases (Email platforms, CRMs etc) that we are not already using and linking these with Facebook. This allows us to create custom audiences from subscribers, purchasers etc. 

Google Analytics 

The reporting of conversions data on Facebook has changed and we are now relying less on the Facebook platform for accurate reports. We are using Google Analytics to compare results and report top-line numbers to clients. Consider using Google Analytics to run along with Facebook and get your data from there.


Need help staying on top of Facebook? Maybe you need a Facebook ad agency?

Drop us a line and let’s see if we are a fit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do the opt-in rates for tracking after the iOS 14.5 update compare between different countries and demographics?

The opt-in rates for tracking post-iOS 14.5 update show significant variation across different countries and demographics, reflecting diverse attitudes towards privacy and data sharing. In regions with heightened privacy concerns and regulations, such as the European Union, opt-in rates might be lower compared to countries with less stringent privacy norms.

Among demographic groups, younger users, who are generally more privacy-conscious and tech-savvy, may be less inclined to allow tracking than older users. These differences underscore the need for advertisers to tailor their strategies to the privacy preferences of their target audiences, possibly by relying more on contextually relevant ads rather than personalized targeting in regions or demographics with low opt-in rates.

What specific strategies are being developed or recommended for advertisers to adapt to these changes in user tracking and data privacy?

In response to the challenges posed by the iOS 14.5 update, advertisers need to adopt a multifaceted approach to adapt to the diminished tracking capabilities. One strategy involves enhancing the collection and use of first-party data, such as email subscriptions and transaction histories, to build detailed customer profiles and tailor marketing efforts without relying on third-party data. Additionally, advertisers are encouraged to explore alternative targeting methods, such as contextual advertising, which places ads based on the content of the web page rather than user behaviour.

Developing engaging and high-quality content can also attract and retain users’ attention, providing a non-intrusive way to build brand awareness and loyalty. Furthermore, leveraging platforms and technologies that prioritize user privacy while still enabling effective targeting can help advertisers maintain the efficacy of their campaigns.

How are changes to the conversion window and reliance on Facebook's AI affecting ad performance, and what adjustments are being made?

The changes to the conversion window and reduced reliance on Facebook’s AI for ad optimisation have prompted advertisers to reassess their campaign performance metrics and adjust their strategies accordingly. With the conversion window shortened, ads may accumulate fewer conversions within the given timeframe, potentially impacting the algorithm’s ability to optimise campaign performance effectively. To counteract this, advertisers are expanding their focus on broader metrics, such as overall engagement, brand awareness, and customer lifetime value, rather than solely on immediate conversions.

Additionally, there’s a shift towards manual optimisation strategies, where advertisers closely monitor campaign performance and make adjustments based on comprehensive data analysis rather than relying on automated tools. This approach requires a more hands-on management style but offers greater control over targeting and budget allocation, ensuring that campaigns remain effective even as the digital advertising landscape evolves.

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