If you’re one of the more than 113 million people that own an iPhone in the United States, chances are that you’ve already updated your phone to iOS 14.5. With this update, Apple is requiring users to provide explicit permission for an app to track, collect, and share data. So, after you’ve updated your phone, the next time you go into the Facebook app for example, a prompt will appear where you are asked to allow, or not allow, the app to track your use, and share your data. This is called a Tracking Transparency Prompt, and any apps that do not display the prompt will actually end up being completely blocked in the Apple app store at some point. Initial estimates thought that after the update, the number of users sharing their data will drop to between 10% to 15%, from roughly 70% today.

As a marketer, you most likely rely on social media apps to use this data so you can accurately target your audience for any ad campaigns that you may be running. Obviously, you want to make sure your content is getting in front of the right eyes! User privacy is something that is *very* important to Apple, so despite the pushback from Facebook, it’s highly unlikely that Apple will reverse course and change, or even get rid of, this new feature.

So, what do you do now?!

Initial data is actually more promising than we all thought, with opt-in rates much higher than previously anticipated: 39% overall and 26% average per app. Keep in mind those, these are just preliminary numbers, so this could change over time.

Our friends at Hubspot have given us a few quick tips to help navigate these privacy changes:

  • Believe it or not, there are other phone makers out there besides Apple! (Android, we are looking at you!) So, you can still target your ad campaigns to those users effectively and rest easy. Remember, when setting up a Facebook ad, you can specifically choose to target Android users.
  • Rely on your website a little more now. Make use of Google Analytics, or whichever analytics tool you prefer, to pay more attention to where your users are coming from, and what they are searching to get there. Then, you can create target personas or target audiences based on that data. (Data is king, remember! 😉)
  • Revisit, and refine, your organic content. Take the time to go through your content and make sure everything aligns from your website to your social media. Remember, you want your messaging and brand to be consistent in everything that you post organically! Use any relevant data (back to bullet #2!) to help strength, or refine, your content strategy.

While this iOS update has many marketers and business owners concerned about their ability to target future users and generate quality leads, the true impact of this update won’t really be known until the full rollout is complete. Like in the past, us marketers have adapted to updates and changes, such as moving from traditional marketing to digital, and from one platform to the next. We will get through this together!