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Why Facebook advertisers are ‘panicking’ over this iPhone feature

Facebook hasn’t been really happy with Apple ever since the iPhone maker spoke about the App Tracking Transparency feature back in June 2020 at its annual developer conference.
It’s been almost three months since Apple rolled out the feature, which gives users the choice to be tracked by advertisers online across apps, with iOS 14.5 and it has been enough time for iPhone users to opt for it.
According to a report by Bloomberg, data from analytics firm Branch has revealed that only 25% of users are opting in to be tracked, leading to an undercurrent of panic in the advertising industry.
The Mark Zuckerberg-led social media giant declined to respond to Bloomberg’s report, data from Branch claims that approximately 75% of iPhone users are now running iOS 14.5 or later with App Tracking transparency. Out of this, only 25% of users have tapped on “Allow” when they see the prompt.
The Bloomberg report cites multiple advertisers who are facing the effects of this.
“What Facebook was great at is they were able to see who bought and find that user’s buyer behaviour – what other websites are they visiting, what other things are they doing,” Zach Stuckmedia buyer who runs Homestead Studio and spends millions on Facebook ads per month said. “When it can’t see this data, Facebook can’t accurately find “other people that might be able to buy a product similar to that.”
“There’s no source of truth at all anymore. Every platform gives you different numbers,” said Dave Herrmann, who runs his own agency called Herrmann Digital and manages more than $2.5 million in monthly Facebook advertising spend.
Back in May, Facebook was spotted adding a new notice — which it calls educational screens — within its Facebook and Instagram iOS apps in a bid to urge its users not to opt for it.
Why does Facebook have a problem with App Tracking Transparency?
Facebook uses IDFA or better known as Identifiers for Advertisers. As the name suggests, it’s a tool to track you and your phone across apps, services and websites. IDFA uses random identifiers to deliver customised advertising.
Facebook relies on this data as it is a part of their business model and comes as no surprise why they are against it. To be fair to Facebook, its biggest argument is that IDFA helps it know how ad campaigns have done. Many small developers rely on these ads as a source of income and the ATT feature hurts them.

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