4 minutes

How BVA Is Handling the Impact of Apple's iOS 14.5 Update

On April 26th, 2021, Apple released the iOS 14.5 update for all iPhone and iPad users featuring App Tracking Transparency, providing users with the option to opt in or out of tracking across apps. Upon updating to iOS 14.5, users will be shown a prompt from apps, such as Facebook or Instagram, that lets them opt in or opt out of being tracked by websites. Facebook predicts that some users will opt in to tracking upon receiving the notification when using an app like Instagram.

What does this mean for eCommerce businesses? Facebook and other social media platforms will have less visibility into the opt-out user bases, therefore there will be changes in performance moving forward due to limited tracking abilities. Learn what key changes are occurring and what BVA is doing to optimize social media campaigns to maximize performance. Apple iOS 14.5 Tracking Image courtesy of Wired

Key Platform Campaigns Affected

  • Facebook
  • Instagram

Key Changes in Campaigns

  • Business Tool Set Up
  • Optimization & Targeting
  • Measurement

Business Tool Set Up

Aggregated Event Measurement allows for measurement of web events from iOS 14 users and limits domains to 8 conversion events that can be used for conversion optimization. This change is drastic in comparison to the previous unlimited number of events we previously were able to optimize for.

How BVA Will Optimize: Marketers will need to strategize and choose which events they feel hold the most value for their business goals. BVA will determine the most important event based on campaign goals and other targeting parameters. Facebook has launched an event ranking tool called Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) that helps prioritize events per campaign.

Optimization & Targeting

Another key difference from the iOS 14.5 update is the attribution window. Marketers can no longer see a 28-day attribution of user engagement, making it harder to pinpoint the exact customer journey during a campaign.

There has also been a reduction in audience sizes based on a more limited pool of users. Similarly, a complete removal of conversion event breakdown (age, gender, location, etc.) happened, creating blurred lines for demographic breakdown on conversion events.

Because of these updates, reporting has been delayed up to 72 hours.


The holy grail of successful marketing campaigns includes using data and analytics to drive strategy changes and optimizations. With the new iOS 14.5 update, we lose some visibility of users who have opted-out (this is the majority of audiences moving forward).
  • 1-day click= 1 event from opt-out users and all events from opt-in users
  • 1-day click or 1-day view= includes 1 event from opt-out users and all events from opt-in users
  • 7-day click (Facebook’s NEW Default)= Only includes opt-in users
  • 7-day click or 1-day view= Only includes opt-in users

How BVA Will Optimize: With our new attribution model (7-day click or 1-day view) we can only collect data from those that opt-in to tracking. This leaves our team with two options:

Attribution Model Pros Cons
7-Day Click or 1-Day View Model More insightful data Zero visibility into how opted-out users are interacting with ads and converting
1-Day Click or 1-Day View Model Ability to collect 1 event from opted-out audiences Fewer Facebook repoted conversions and revenue (lower ROAS)

BVA’s Recommended Approach to Campaigns Affected By iOS 14.5 Update

Based on our years of experience with social media campaign optimization and strategy, BVA may actually recommend switching attribution models to the 1-day click OR 1-day view model to continue collecting at least one event from all users, whether they’ve opted in or opted-out of tracking. Note, this requires shifting our optimization strategy which will result in lower Facebook reported conversion and revenue volumes, and lower reported ROAS. However, the benefits of gaining insight on opted-out users (our widest audience pool) will help drive campaign strategy. Of course, this decision is not made for all brands and we highly recommend consulting the BVA team with the best solution for your business.

BVA Can Help Guide Your Strategy During the iOS 14.5 Advertising Impact

Facebook Ad Since Apple’s iOS 14.5 rollout, performance fluctuations will remain normal over an extended period of time. Expect fewer reported events, revenue and a lower return on investment (ROI). Our social media team will help adopt new strategies for the smaller audience size your brand has experienced. As a Facebook Premium Marketing Partner, we’re able to gain valuable insights through our partnership to help make the best decisions for our clients.

Eager to get your brand compliant with iOS 14.5? Let the BVA Paid Social Media Team strategize the best approach for your business, prioritize your advertising goals, and optimize your campaigns for success. Contact us today.

Social Media Glossary

  • Attribution- the ability to understand and assign a customer journey
  • App Tracking Transparency- a feature for Apple iOS 14.5 devices that requests the permission of the user to have their behaviors tracked by the app
  • Events- behaviors we optimize for in a campaign (pageviews, add to cart, purchase, lead, contact, etc.)
  • Conversions- successful events
  • Opt-in- users who selected to be tracked by the app they are using
  • Opt-out- users who chose to not be tracked by the app they are using
  • ROAS- Return on Ad Spend, calculated by how much money you invested vs. how much profit you made