Facebook Advertising and the iOS 14.5 Update

May 26, 2021

3 minute read

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Until this week, apps in the Apple App Store like Facebook have been able to rely on Apple’s Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) to track users for targeting and advertising purposes. With the launch of iOS 14.5 in late April, mobile apps now must ask users who have upgraded to iOS 14.5 for permission to gather tracking data.

What does this have to do with Facebook? Facebook posed the biggest challenge to Apple’s proposed iOS update. They launched a massive campaign that sent out the idea that the App Store changes have less to do with privacy and are more concerned with profits. Facebook even called Apple a competitor that is using its control over the entire ecosystem to stifle competition and choke their ad revenue. To date, we have little data on how this will impact Facebook advertising campaigns. There are only 2 companies that have published Opt-In Rates, Flurry Analytics and AppsFlyer.

Daily Opt-In Rate
Flurry Analytics: 6% Opt-In Rate
Overall Cross Category
AppsFlyer: 31% Opt-In Rate

The opt-in rate provides a useful point-in-time look at Apple user preferences. Used properly, opt-in rate can serve as a benchmark for advertisers and publishers working through the disruption caused by iOS 14.5.


With only two companies sharing drastically different Opt-In Rate data, we are unable to gauge the true impact of this update. Nevertheless, an Opt-In Rate at 50% and below severely impacts our ability for targeted advertising and attribution in Facebook. Facebook can no longer follow and collect user data as users move between apps and website. At minimum, this will likely mean that Custom Audiences may not be as strong as they have been in the past. But ultimately, this means Facebook campaign performance will suffer and we should be prepared to rethink how to measure Facebook success.

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