The war between Apple and Facebook

Posted 3 June 2021 Agence Rinaldi in Our experts

In early April 2021, Apple launched an iOS 14.5 update, which included a new feature – AppTrackingTransparency. It allows users to:

  • Better control the confidentiality of their own data.
  • Choose whether or not to share their data with the different apps they interact with.

AppTrackingTransparency asks for your permission before sharing your personal data, meaning that your consent must be given for your data to be tracked. At first glance, this is great news. Having such power is a huge step towards privacy. But in reality, this novelty has a direct impact on the performance of algorithms, on personalized content and on digital campaigns and media investment.

How so?

On Facebook, personalized content and digital ads are based on the user’s shared data. The platform’s algorithm uses your personal data to offer you relevant content. The more data the algorithm integrates, the better it performs. As for sponsored posts, they are presented to groups of users who meet predefined criteria, whether those are demographic, geographic, interest-based, or even behavioural.  Data is essential in the optimization of campaigns.

It allows:

  • Relevant targeting of audiences
  • Retargeting
  • Conversion tracking
  • The analysis of the results

By giving iOS users the option to opt out of sharing their data, Apple is significantly lowering Facebook’s targeting abilities. Since about 53% of Canadians use the iOS ecosystem, this update will very likely disrupt the effectiveness and relevance of Facebook advertising campaigns.

In this article, we’re focusing on Facebook campaigns, but this update will impact many apps, like Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, and the list goes on. 

Why, Apple?

Contrary to what Apple CEO Tim Cook says, the protection of user data isn’t AppTrackingTransparency’s only goal. The GAFAMs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft) have been at war over this very data for months.

 The GAFAMs share a common business model, which is data-based. To put it simply, the company with the most user data generates the most profit. So, might as well penalize your competitors by significantly lowering the amount of data to which they have access. In other words, Apple prevents the different apps in its ecosystem from freely harvesting their own data, while keeping 100% of theirs.

What measures should be put in place?

To avoid losing the sufficient data for advertising campaigns, Facebook recommends several configuration changes, including:

  • domain name verification
  • the reduction of the number of events on websites (up to 8).
  • the establishment of UTM
  • the configuration of automatic rules
  • the implementation of API conversion

These new, more technical configurations would make it possible to lose as little data as possible, mainly on websites.

What about after?

It’s important to take into account the limits of each platform, which will be the master of its own data. It’s therefore up to you, as an advertiser (with the support of your favourite agency) to be strategic and start collecting your own data.

Data privatization forces you to adapt your digital strategies:

Diversification of the media mix

On top of configurations, it’s necessary to diversify the sources of traffic at each stage of the purchase journey: social media, native content, advertising campaigns on search networks, programmatic campaigns, and so on.

When it comes to perfecting your digital acquisition strategy, the main challenge is defining the set of relevant media at each stage of your buying journey, as well as being aware of the pros and cons of each media.

Developing your own data

Knowing your clients and being able to reach them are two of the strongest competitive advantages you can have. If this is not already the case, it is strongly recommended to create your own database with key information on your customers, prospects or partners.

Collecting your own data will allow you to establish your customer base profiles. As an advertiser, you can then develop personalized campaigns adapted to each of your segments. The more personalized and well targeted your campaign, the more efficient it will be and the more profit you will generate. And that’s the power of data!

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