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Robert Demeter, Content Writer, Digistore24

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Robert Demeter

Content Writer

News & Updates

How The iOS 15 Update Is Affecting Facebook and Google Ads

July 28, 2022

3 Min. Read

How The iOS 15 Update Is Affecting Facebook and Google Ads

Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 15, was launched on September 20, 2021. And along came a slew of changes that gave users greater control on how their personal data was used & shared. 

But for digital & affiliate marketers, this update turned out to be trickier than the previous update - that being iOS 14. 

With iOS 14, Apple gave users the choice to opt out of tracking for third-party apps like Facebook and Google.

However, with the iOS 15 update, they just turned the tables with features like:

  • Asking permission to receive targeted ads
  • Masking IP address through iCloud Private Relay (IPR)
  • Privacy report cards for every app
  • Ending support for third party cookies

What do these changes mean for Facebook and Google ads?

Now, if you’re a digital seller or affiliate marketer who uses Facebook or Google ads extensively, these changes will make it tough to get a granular view of user behavior. 

Take the case of iCloud Private Relay, which allows Safari users to mask their IP address by sending traffic through internet relays. This makes IP addresses highly unreliable for targeting, making all the location-based Facebook and Google ads baseless. 

Let’s understand this with an example. 

Imagine you’re running an ad on Google for a gardening store located in Houston. Your target audience, in this case, is people living in and around Houston. However, due to IP address masking, your ideal audience could be inaccurately excluded, or a completely unrelated audience could be included. 

Now, you may wonder - why will they be inaccurately included?

Simple. 

The proxy will put them in an IP address of Houston, making them click your ads even though they’re never going to place an order as they’re not actually in that location.

How can you cope with these changes as an affiliate marketer?

Here are the different steps you can take to safely navigate through these changes:

1. Adapt to the situation

It’s true. Things have gotten a tad complicated without accurate tracking. But that doesn’t mean you should just sit there and do nothing. Instead, adapt to it. Try focusing on people who you already have data on. Or even update the content and your strategy to fit the new rules. For instance, give people a free ebook in exchange for them providing their location.

2. Embrace third-party services

As you read this sentence, hundreds of third-party companies are developing apps to bypass this new policy. There are several apps that will bypass the restrictions put by iOS 15. In fact, many affiliate marketers are promoting products through app ads instead of the web. Though not the most ideal solution, it still keeps the money flowing. 

3. Build your own tracking system

Well, most of the existing tracking systems aren’t that developed so far. But many companies are diligently working on this. This may sound quite challenging to you, but if you don’t do it, someone else will surely crack the iOS 15 code soon and create something that will track users even with the new restrictions in place.

Wrapping Up

Both updates of Apple in 2021, via iOS 14.5 and iOS 15, introduced several user-privacy features that hampered digital & affiliate marketing to a great extent. 

But we need to accept the fact that slowly we’re moving to a privacy-first world. 

To succeed online, you must remain agile, find new sources to generate traffic, and lastly, understand your customers better to experience success online.

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Robert Demeter, Content Writer, Digistore24

Author

Robert Demeter

Content Writer

Robert is a content specialist with over 6 years of experience in content writing and was published in major U.S. outlets, including The New York Times, Business Insider, and more. He has a sharp eye for detail, extensive digital marketing knowledge and a proactive approach to any topic, morphing his writing style to fit various marketing outlets, including blogs, social media, ads, email and more.