Matt Pattoli

Founder at Cometly

December 20, 2022

10 minute read

What is iOS 14.5? Did iOS 14.5 Change Digital Advertising Forever?

What exactly happened in Apple's iOS 14 update?

On September 16, 2020, Apple released the iOS 14 update with the intention to give consumers more control over the data they unwillingly shared with publishers and advertisers. During a time where data privacy was an important issue for consumers, the update was widely accepted by consumers across the board. Apple even did a nationwide marketing campaign about data privacy for consumers around the time of the release of iOS 14.

With the iOS 14 update, Apple drastically limited what advertisers and developers were able to track in terms of behavior and user activity. For iOS devices, Apple provides an IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers), which is a unique random number identifier for advertisers that is assigned to every apple device. IDFA was designed to help advertisers track user behavior within applications or browsers. Furthermore, IDFA does not collect any personal identifiable information and the user has the ability to reset their IDFA at any time.

Then Apple released the iOS 14.5 update..

Apple released the iOS 14.5 update on April 26, 2021. The update immediately turned the digital advertising industry upside down. Apple introduced app-tracking transparency (ATT) that enabled users to opt-in or opt-out of app tracking and turned off IDFA by default for every user. This meant that each user will have to individually allow each app they use to turn on IDFA.

How did iOS 14.5 negatively impact Facebook & Instagram ads?

Since the iOS 14.5 update, Facebook has had to completely rebuild their ad tracking capabilities. This is because the update effectively crippled their ad tracking technology, which was primarily based on IDFA. This has caused them to lose millions in revenue, as they are now unable to accurately track ads and ad performance. In addition, the update has also affected their ability to target users effectively.

Three main areas where the Facebook ads platform was negatively impacted:

  • Targeting - Since the pixel technology is not accurately tracking anymore, the retargeting audiences and lookalike audiences have been severely impacted.
  • Reporting - Advertisers have major inaccuracies in their conversion ad reporting. When the update first released, many advertisers saw a massive drop off in attribution.
  • Optimization - Advertisers heavily relied on the algorithm to optimize their ad campaigns. The update immediately resulted in Facebook losing key data points that their algorithm used to optimize ads effectively.

What is the iOS 14 solution for digital advertisers?

Cometly is a tool that helps advertisers accurately track their digital ad campaigns. Cometly customers use Cometly to:

  1. Unlock new visibility on their ads by getting the true ad performance based on the accurate Gen-2 Comet Pixel.
  2. Save wasted ad spend by proactively turning off unprofitable ads before they overspend and dip into hard earned profits.
  3. Increase ad profits by accelerating winning ad campaigns faster using realtime accurate ad & sales data.

By using Cometly, advertisers can ensure that they are spending their money on ads that are actually effective, rather than wasting their money on ads that are not performing well. In addition, by optimizing their ads based on click-through conversion attribution, advertisers can target their ads to the right audience and improve their chances of converting them into customers.

Main features of Cometly that will help you better-track and scale your ad performance:

  1. Comet Pixel - Combination of first party data and cutting-edge fingerprint tracking technology that uses unique identifiers to create a visitor profile and track the activity of the visitors who have been exposed to an ad. This allows advertisers to track the effectiveness of their ads and measure how many conversions they have generated without limitations of ad blockers or relying on cookies. It can even track conversions back to the correct ad in the edge case where the visitor originally came from an ad but later converted from organic search, email, or text message.
  2. Comet Ads Manager - Optimize and scale your ads confidently knowing that the data inside the Comet Ads Manager is accurate. The Comet Pixel passes all accurately tracked data directly into the ads manager where you will now scale your ads profitably. Toggle your ads on or off, or increase or decrease the budgets on your ads directly inside the Comet Ads Manager. This enables advertisers to analyze accurate data and make decisions on the data, right on the same screen. You no longer need to switch tabs back and forth between your ad platform and Cometly.
  3. Conversion API - Cometly will 'send' all of the accurate events data that the system captures directly back to the native ad platform which will massively improve the targeting and optimization of your ad campaigns. This will ultimately lead to a higher ROAS overtime and more consistent results for your ads.
  4. Comet Events - Add the Comet Pixel to any store, marketing funnel, or website to track specific events back to the correct ads and feed the ad platforms with accurate data for better ad optimization. Whether you’re trying to track purchases, leads or booked calls, Cometly will track and report exactly what ads are performing best for you.
  5. Spaces - Track ads for unlimited workspaces (unlimited stores, funnels, client accounts, etc.) for no additional cost. Cometly allows you to track, analyze and optimize ads for as many businesses that you need.

Learn more about how Cometly can help attribute revenue back to the correct ads and understand where customers are coming from → Free Cometly Demo