Facebook is ‘Underreporting’ iOS Ad Results Amid Apple’s Recent Privacy Updates

While many marketers and businesses alike had a gut feeling, Facebook finally said it has been underreporting advertising results on Apple iOS devices. The statement caused the social media giant’s shares to take a toll of 3.7%, reaching $344.32 in morning trading sessions. 

In a blog post, the company acknowledged that Apple’s recent privacy update changes have made it more expensive and difficult for brands to advertise on Facebook. 

Apple’s New Privacy Policy

In April, Apple rolled out new privacy control updates designed to limit and prevent advertisers from tracking iPhone users for advertising purposes without their consent. After the update, users received a pop-up notification in some apps seeking their permission to collect data that Apple believes could be used to track browsing habits. 

Initially, the news for businesses meant the $100 billion mobile advertising market was changing. If most iPhone users declined to allow data collection, that meant marketers would lose access to data from an estimated 1 billion people who use iPhones worldwide. 

However, the impact of the update and how many users decline such permissions remains a question. 

Facebook Advertising Recommendations Amid iOS Updates

At first, Facebook fought back against Apple’s change, arguing it would hurt small businesses that rely on advertising to find new customers. However, five months after the update, Facebook finally released a blog post saying it estimates it is underreporting “conversions” by roughly 15%, adding that the figure varies among advertisers. 

Grahan Mudd, vice president of product marketing at Facebook, explained, “we believe that real-world conversions, like sales and app installs, are higher than what is being reported.”

Facebook’s CFO, David Wehner, warned about the potential effects of the iOS updates back in July, suggesting he expected to see a more significant impact from these changes in the third quarter. 

Nonetheless, Mudd wrote, “we’re optimistic about our multi-year effort to develop new privacy-enhancing technologies that minimize the personal information we process, while still allowing us to show personalized ads and measure their effectiveness.” 

Thankfully, Facebook already recommended several actions advertisers can take to better analyze their ad performance. They’re also improving ad performance measurement, considering the privacy updates, and accelerating their progress to close reporting gaps ahead of the holiday season. 

How Marketers Are Handling This

Even though Facebook’s reports are ‘underreporting’ ad performance, Facebook ads are still an effective marketing tactic for small and large businesses alike. There are still many different ways marketers can track ad performance and work around Facebook’s underreporting issue. 

Brandstar Digital’s marketing experts help businesses owners and brands navigate through this and many other newfound issues all the time. Together, we can help you create a comprehensive marketing campaign utilizing Facebook ads to reach your business goals and meet your expected conversion rates and return on investment. 

If you’ve been doing your Facebook ads by yourself and are worried that your business might have been impacted by Facebook’s underreporting, contact us today and schedule a free consultation to get started. 



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