There’s been some talk going around the DigitalMaas Team about the latest Apple iOS 14.5 update and how Facebook is dealing with it. Here’s what we think about it and how Google can be a better and more effective alternative to targeting the right customer.
Quick Recap: What’s New on the iOS 14.5 Update
Apple recently released 50 security fixes and introduced a slew of new features, including App Tracking Transparency – or ATT for short.
Basically, this anti-tracking technology alerts users when an app, installed on their Apple devices, is tracking their activity.
So let’s say you’ve downloaded a fitness app for the first time onto your iPhone – just after the iOS 14.5 update. Unknown to you, the company behind the app has the ability to gather personal information on your device and track your internet habits, your contact list, view your photos and videos and see what other apps you use. This is done to serve personalised ads to you on Facebook – and personalised ads are a cost-effective way to get more conversions (for e.g. website visits or purchases). You’ll start to see ads from fitness coaches, gyms and fitness gear – but you might also notice other ads that may be similar to the apps on your phone.
With the App Tracking Transparency feature, you now have the option to have an app track and gather information about you or not.
When you open the app, you’ll receive a prompt (pictured above) and you can choose whether to be tracked or not.
And so far, 96% of iPhone users in the US and 88% globally have opted not to be tracked.
Why Facebook is Up In Arms
The social media platform has been wary of Apple’s privacy changes. Now that ATT is out, Facebook has been stating that this move is hurting small businesses that rely on Facebook Advertising to increase conversions. This means that businesses won’t be able to serve ads to a highly targeted audience and leave them with less revenue in the future.
It also goes without saying that Facebook made a whopping US$84 billion in 2020 due to advertising alone. So Apple will definitely create a dent in Facebook’s profits.
Should You Use App Tracking Transparency?
This is the beauty of ATT – it gives iOS users a choice to remain tracked or not. If you do choose to have apps collect data from you to get personalised ads, then it’s all well and good. You’ll get a set of benefits that go beyond viewing hyper-targeted content.
On the other hand, if you choose to safeguard your private information and refuse businesses to use that to give you targeted ads and other content, it’s fine, too. The most harm it will do to you, as a consumer, is that it will show you a variety of ads that are not related to your personal information, search queries, internet habits and other types of online activities.
However, both sides have their own pros and cons and, depending on your privacy requirements.
A Better Way to Target Your Audiences
With all that said, you’re probably wondering what is the most effective way of targeting your audience without aggressively looking at private data.
The answer is Google My Business.
When a customer searches for something related to your business, you already know that they have the intention of looking for you. While you cannot compare the results you get from Facebook ads, and even Google ads for that matter, it is easier for them to look for you as long as you
- Use keyword planning to help you rank better in search results
- Make sure that your Name, Address, Phone Number, Primary Category and Website are consistent
- Monitor and respond to reviews
- Publish Google Posts on a weekly basis at the very least
- Update your product/service catalogue
This way, you don’t overtly get personal data without the users’ consent and you’re still targeting your business to the right people because they’re actively looking for you.
Looking for a better way to improve your Google My Business profile? Here are 7 sections in GMB that you need to optimise to improve your rankings.
Maximise Google My Business Beyond the iOS 14.5 Update
The iOS 14.5 update feels like a giant blow to Facebook’s revenue model as it gives Apple users the chance to take control of their privacy. While the App Tracking Transparency feature does have its benefits for consumers, it could spell disaster for smaller businesses who rely on Facebook advertising to get customers or clients. Other businesses can always resort to paid apps, subscription models and others to maintain revenues, while more brands can find other ways to hyper-target their ads to their intended market.
What we do know is that the digital advertising scene is facing a ‘new normal’ of its own and while Facebook is currently licking its wounds, it may have no other choice but to adapt to Apple’s new policies.
If you feel that your business is affected by the App Tracking Transparency feature, then use Google My Business to target your customers. It is not influenced by Apple’s iOS 14.5 update in the slightest so you can enjoy this free marketing tool to put your business where your customers are looking for you.
It’s even better when you sign up with DigitalMaas because we make it easy for businesses like you to be the first choice. Update all your information while bulk-publishing Google posts and monitoring reviews in one dashboard. It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s fast. Sign up for an account today.