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Shots Fired: Facebook Takes Aim At Apple

Shots Fired: Facebook Takes Aim at Apple

Well, not literal shots… Facebook took aim at Apple in a recent article by going on record to disagree with Apple’s policy changes.  Here’s what you need to know.

During the annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June of this year, in addition to announcing a product release, Apple also announced that they would be implementing some policy changes.  These policy changes would impact data sharing on iOS 14, which severely limits advertising capabilities.

What does this mean for your law firms advertisements?  We’ll get into the details a bit more here in a minute, but basically, what this means is that you can expect less impressions, less bang for your buck and a higher cost per click.  While this privacy update is great for users, it is an advertising nightmare come true.

Facebook went on record to say this:

“We believe that free, ad-supported businesses have been essential to the growth and vitality of the internet, and that personalized ads and user privacy can coexist. We support proactive privacy measures and data transparency, but we don’t agree with Apple’s policy changes.”


Apple’s iOS 14 Updates

With an eye towards giving their users more privacy and transparency, on iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and tvOS 14 apps will be required to receive user permission to track users across various apps and/or websites that are owned by other companies.  While iOS 14 was released on September 16th, Apple delayed implementing these privacy policy updates to allow developers time to make necessary adjustments.  They’ve announced that this update will go into effect starting in early 2021.


Overall Impact to Advertising

There are two main areas that advertisers can expect to see the bulk of the impact:

  • Ad Retargeting – For individuals who have opted out of being tracked, retargeting will no longer work. Without tracking you won’t be able to track the cookies of your website visitors to retarget them with your ads on Facebook or Google.
  • Ad Measurement – Apple announced the SKAdNetwork, a replacement API, which is reportedly going to allow advertisers to access conversion data at the campaign level, however, it is anticipated that there will be a reduction in the fidelity of the data.


Impact on Facebook Advertising

That’s right, there will be significant impact to Facebook Advertising as more and more users opt out of tracking.

Right now, when advertisers build campaigns on Facebook, they have the ability to target users on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and thousands of various apps.  If users choose not to be tracked, it will greatly reduce the ability to accurately target and measure campaigns within the audience network.  In a recent article, Facebook reflects that Apple’s updates “may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.”

What does this ultimately mean for advertisers?  Well, ads running on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp should experience little to no impact as they are all owned by Facebook.  However, with the Audience Network taking a huge hit, this could mean that advertisers will see steeper competition in the now limited ad space as well as a higher cost per click (CPC)/cost per impression (CPM).

Facebook has been conducting testing to see just how the Audience Network may be impacted, they found more than a 50% drop in “Audience Network publisher revenue”.  With that being said, they’re anticipating a much higher drop than 50% – we’re talking big numbers and major impact here.

Impact on Google Ads

Similar to Facebook, Google’s Ads currently track you across apps and websites owned by other companies to provide you with personalized ads.  With iOS 14’s privacy policy allowing users to opt in or out to being tracked, it goes without saying that Google Ads will also be negatively impacted.

Preparing for iOS 14 Impact on Your Law Firm’s Ads

We’ve said before that Facebook Ads are something law firms should consider, and still stand by that.  Facebook is looking for ways to stand by businesses – including law firms – that so greatly rely on Facebook Ads to keep their businesses afloat.  Google is also quietly making their own preparations in advance of the privacy update.

When it comes to the importance of advertising, you really need to go where your customers are – which is why Google Ads and Facebook Ads (including their vast Audience Network) have been so important to advertisers.

For help with understanding how your law firm may be impacted by the iOS 14 policy update and the impact on your Facebook Ads, Precision Legal Marketing can help talk you through it.  Whether you’re looking for clarification or new ways to advertise your law firm, we can help.  Get in touch today by sending an email to or by sending a secure message via our website.

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