What is iOS 14.5 and what do marketers need to know?

Published Apr 20 2021 Last updated Apr 26 2021 2 minute read
What is iOS 14 and what do marketers need to know?

Since last year in 2020 when Apple announced their new App Tracking Transparency Framework (ATT) that will roll out with their iOS 14.5 update, businesses and advertising platforms and services have been scrambling to figure out what this means for them. 

To be honest, it’s a bit unclear to us all. But, we hope to be able to answer some of your main questions around what this update means for marketers. 

We’ve put together an FAQ with questions we’ve received most about the update and ATT. 

Download the FAQ

Read on to learn more about the basics of iOS 14.5 and what you need to know.

What is iOS 14?

With its new iOS 14.5, Apple is rolling out major changes that include changes to user privacy and tracking permissions. The main update that is throwing the advertising community for a loop is the App Tracking Transparency Framework. 

Apple’s new framework (ATT) is meant to “...give users more transparency and control, empowering people with the tools and knowledge to protect their personal information.”  (Apple Newsroom

Apple's iOS 14 prompt

It gives the users an option to opt-in or out of being tracked across apps. On mobile, it restricts access to IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) and cross-app tracking.

For websites, it introduces PCM (Private Click Measurement - defined further in the FAQ) and limits user identification across websites.

Basically, if a user opts-out apps and websites won’t be able to communicate with each other about what users are doing on the apps or websites after the user has clicked on an ad. 

This changes the digital marketing game completely. 

The update was expected to roll-out on April 15, 2021, but we haven’t seen all of the expected changes fully rolled out yet.



Photo: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/01/data-privacy-day-at-apple-improving-transparency-and-empowering-users/

What do marketers need to know? 

Digital marketers need to be prepared to adjust their strategies, ways of reporting, and expectations on tracking since this update impacts all of those areas. Experimentation is going to be the key to success for marketers with iOS 14.5. 


 One shift that might happen is a move towards more contextual advertising. So instead of targeting specific user demographics in the ad platforms, you can look for places (blogs, sites, etc.) where you know your customers go and that make sense for your brand to be present on. 


There is going to be less granular data available (the data will pretty much only be available on a campaign level), and there is going to be a delay of up to 3 days for the data. This means that optimization will need to be delayed, and you won’t be able to report on certain metrics, like ROAS, in the same way you currently are. 

The ad platforms will have fewer data points to optimize on, but the data they have within the platform will remain unaffected. This means that you can still work off of impressions, interactions, views, clicks and other metrics that happen in the same app.  


Be prepared for opt-in rates to be low. There are some early promising numbers that Appsflyer has reported, but the expected opt-in rate is closer to 10-20%

We answer more of your questions in the FAQ, and we really get into the details in our webinar, ‘iOS 14: Understanding the impact on marketing’ which you can watch here.

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