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To opt in, or opt out?

Jun 07, 2021

If you a.) own an iPhone, and b.) don't live under a rock, by now you'll be well aware that Apple have made their latest update, and it's an interesting one for those of us who fall into both the 'user' and the 'advertiser' category. 

If you haven't had a chance to figure out what all the fuss is about, here's our quick and easy explanation:

Apple's new software update has given all their users (everyone with an iPhone) the option to opt-out of sharing their data with other apps & websites. This includes apps like Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.

If you're someone who has opted OUT, this means that Facebook will no longer be able to deliver personalised ads to you. Basically, the ads you're going to start seeing will become less relevant to you and the things you've been clicking on, on and off Facebook. It's possibly going to become a bit more of a mishmash of ads from all kinds of businesses, versus *that* handbag you've been looking at all week online. 

So where does that leave you as a user, do you opt in or opt out of sharing your data?

As users, the initial reaction for many would be to opt OUT, especially as it's in response to your data and privacy online. But! Opting out doesn't mean you're not going to see ads anymore, it just means you aren't going to see such targeted ads, specifically selected for you based on your interests and behaviours online. In short, you're going to see more ads advertising stuff you're not interested in. The decision is yours, Apple user! 

If you're like us and fall into both camps, both a user and an advertiser, there's more to it than just a simple opt in or out. Advertisers, here's what you can expect from this update, and what you're probably already starting to experience with your current ad campaigns.

  • Targeting

Cast your mind back to the non-advertisers among us, the Apple users. If they are not opting in to share some of their data, there's less of it to use when it comes to us targeting them. Their behaviours that we can select from when creating audiences to target will become a lot hazier, and there is going to be more of a grey area when it comes to targeting overall. 

  • Audiences

Following on from this, those custom audiences and lookalike audiences you use for remarketing are probably going to drop in size. Less people opting in to share data and be tracked by their apps, less people to make up those audiences. 

  • Results

If you think about the fact that WHO your ads are being delivered to and who is seeing them is going to become less clear, then it should come as no surprise that the overall results of your campaign will dip. Your landing page views or whichever result you're set up to monitor will most likely be less than what you'd usually expect from a campaign and budget of that size and type. We're already noticing in our own campaigns, less people are clicking or interacting with our ad than usual. 

  • Measurement and reporting 

In short, the clarity of your results may not match what results are actually coming through the door. With users opting out, the tracking and measuring of your campaign gets murkier and we're going to have to start looking outside of just our campaign to monitor what the results are. Isolate the window of time you're advertising in, what leads from outside of Facebook came in for example, where else can you look to for insight into your campaign results?


Now that you know what's going to be affected, what can you do to help your ad account survive?

It's still early days, and while we can see that the overall effectiveness of advertising across Facebook has taken a hit, we're sticking with it and we recommend that you do too. 

One thing we're noticing is that we're going to need to increase our ad budgets to counteract lessening results. We're not telling you to start spending thousands where you normally spent hundreds, but we do recommend rolling out some tests to see what an increase in budget means for campaigns that are no longer performing to the level they once would have.  

Since you won't be able to rely on your ad account to give you as clear a reading on your results as you're used to, now is the time to make sure your Google Analytics is set up correctly (or set up in the first place!) and is tracking your web traffic and conversions that are taking place while you're in an advertising period. 

And if all of this is starting to feel a little "too hard basket" and you're not feeling Facebook ads anymore, get in touch and we can do it for you or even teach you how. 

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