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Is Facebook Finished? The New Apple iOS Update and Social Media Tracking

Katherine Uhlir


Have you been reading the headlines? Are the new changes to Apple’s operating system going to kill Facebook? Will your Facebook ads stop working? Will Mark Zuckerberg melt into a pool of molten robot goo once a critical mass of iPhone users declines tracking?


Recent changes to the digital marketing landscape have many companies trying to understand and adapt. Have no fear: The WideFoc.us team is always on top of the social media landscape, and what new developments mean for our clients. Read on for an overview of how the newest iOS update could affect your organization’s online presence.

What’s Changed

The latest iOS now automatically gives users the choice to opt out of audience targeting. While previous versions had similar language buried deep within the settings, with iOS 14.5 Apple now displays a pop-up as soon as apps are first opened, with an opt-in message for tracking (rather than opt-out). The first time a user clicks on the “Facebook” app after updating the iOS, they are immediately presented with the option to “Ask App not to Track.” For brands that rely on targeting and data collection to reach qualified audiences, this sounds frightening. However, your company can still implement techniques to mitigate potential setbacks and keep ad metrics steady.

Use OS Segmentation

Differentiating your segments based on phone type can help minimize the effects of iOS 14.5. Android users still have the same tracking infrastructure in place — separating those customers from iPhone users could help maintain your numbers. You have the option to specify devices in Ads Manager.

Verify Your Domain

For Facebook in particular, verifying your website domain is a critical step. If your business runs multiple admin accounts, the verification should help keep your audience targeting stable.

Determine Your Conversion Events and Track Referring Traffic

On Facebook, setting up conversion events can be a way to improve your targeting. You can now specify only up to eight pixel conversions and rank them in the Events Manager. Depending on your target audiences, you’ll want to optimize targeting based on location, interests, and other key factors.


And be sure to set custom UTMs for every link from social media back to your website, whether it’s from posts, the link in bio, or ads. The insights you’ll gain from referred traffic behaviors will ensure that you really know what’s happening when people click on a link to your website.

The most important thing to remember? Don’t panic. Although tracking opt-ins have been right around 5% with the new iOS, we just don’t know how that will affect social ad targeting in the long run. Programmatic ad campaigns will likely see changes before social-only paid advertising, which doesn’t depend as much on cross-platform behavior tracking. The best thing to do right now is keep a close watch on your costs-per-result and make sure your audiences are engaging with your content.


Has your brand seen a decline in social metrics following the recent iOS update? Reach out to our team today and we’ll help develop a plan to move forward.


Content Writer Katherine Uhlir tries to keep up with social media happenings. Find her chilling on insta or browsing Twitter.