Facebook Says iOS 14 Will Affect Ad Revenues by 50 Percent

Apple and Facebook

IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) is a feature in iOS that allows developers to collect personalized advertisement data and display targeted ads with its help. Up until now, app developers could use IDFA without requiring any special permission from the user. However, it all changes with the iOS 14. The upcoming operating system for the iPhone requires app developers to ask users for permission to use IDFA to collect personalized data. This feature, according to Facebook, will affect its Audience Network program, impacting ad revenues by up to 50%.

In a blog post published today, Facebook has announced that it will not use IDFA on iOS 14 for its Audience Network Program, and therefore, it will not be able to collect personalized advertisement data. Facebook says that even if it tries to implement the IDFA service, it will be so infective that it may not make sense to implement it in the app at all. Since IDFA will not be used for personalized ads under Audience Network Program, the Audience Network publisher revenue will drop by as much as 50%, warns Facebook.

Commenting on the topic, Facebook has issued the following statement.

This is not a change we want to make, but unfortunately Apple’s updates to iOS14 have forced this decision. We know this may severely impact publishers’ ability to monetize through Audience Network on ‌iOS 14‌, and, despite our best efforts, may render Audience Network so ineffective on ‌iOS 14‌ that it may not make sense to offer it on ‌iOS 14‌ in the future.

While it’s difficult to quantify the impact to publishers and developers at this point with so many unknowns, in testing we’ve seen more than a 50% drop in Audience Network publisher revenue when personalization was removed from mobile ad install campaigns. In reality, the impact to Audience Network on ‌iOS 14‌ may be much more, so we are working on short-and long-term strategies to support publishers through these changes.

The developer beta and the public beta of iOS 14 is already out. The stable public rollout is expected to take place in the fall of 2020, along with the launch of iPhone 12.

Our Take

With every release of iOS, Apple takes a step that ends up hurting ad revenues of developers and with iOS 14, it looks like the company has again taken another extreme step in this direction. iOS 14 will not only impact ad revenues of Facebook but also that of many other brands, developers, and platforms. While privacy features on iOS 14 are beneficial for users, it is bad news for app makers.