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Let’s discuss the headlines – iOS 14 Updates | Volume 17

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Welcome to February! Let’s start this month off with some earnings reports released on the 1st. 

  • Apple’s mobile sales are up 17% YoY, the accessories sector brought in $10 billion alone in Q4. 
  • Microsoft’s Azure increased revenue by 50% and Microsoft’s core business achieved double-digit YoY growth.  
  • Facebook had a strong Q4, even with a shrink in US daily active users, with total revenue of $28.1 billion

How do you think Facebook’s revenue will be affected by the iOS privacy changes that are going to dig into Facebook’s ad revenue? 

And what do those iOS 14 privacy changes even mean? Read on for our rundown 👍 

Before we get into that here’s a peek at what’s to come:  

  • Facebook ads forced to adapt to Apple’s new policies 
  • Effects of embedded videos in SEO
  • Facebook focuses on brand safety

iOS 14’s Effect On Facebook Ads 

You’ve probably read a headline on your news feeds or inbox about the feud between Apple and Facebook due to Apple’s new iOS 14 privacy update. But what’s the tea? 

Here’s an overview of what’s happening:

The new iOS 14 update will have a major impact on how Facebook is allowed to capture iPhone user’s data via the Facebook Pixel. This has a direct negative effect on conversions (leads, purchases, etc…) 

With the update, Apple is now requiring that all apps from the App Store ask its iOS users for permission to track them outside the platform.

Here’s how targeting worked before: You have the Facebook app. You go to Safari or the Google app and type in “sandals Canada” – and before you know it, you’re getting hit with ads from Crocs, Sport Chek, etc… This was before.

Here’s how it’s changing: The iOS 14 policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt in to tracking, which is very unlikely. 

People generally don’t trust big tech. Now with this heightened control, they can hit back.

Why this is bad:

Nearly 80% of all Facebook traffic is mobile. More than half are using iPhones.

If Facebook can’t track user behaviour, targeting effectiveness will take a huge hit, which means retargeting takes a hit, conversions are down, revenue is lost, and ad spend is burned. 

Not knowing the target audience will make it more difficult to create ad copy and creative as well.

The users won’t realize it yet, but it will greatly decrease their user experience by having ads on their feeds that they have zero interest in.

What Facebook is doing about it:

Facebook has responded by attacking Apple’s decision, stating that it is going to negatively affect small businesses looking to advertise on their platform. So far nothing has changed.

This piece is brought to you by our senior digital strategist, Antonio Duplessis

Key Takeaways 

  • Targeting and retargeting campaigns are going to become less effective 
  • iOS 14 will protect your data from Facebook (unless you opt-in)
  • Ad spend is burned on Facebook

To Embed Or Not To Embed: There Is No SEO Difference

First off, let’s cover the basics: what is the difference between an embedded video and a non-embedded video. 

An embedded video is one that lives off-site and has been uploaded into a blog, landing page or social channel. It isn’t hosted on the site it is accessible from. 


In the example above, Ross has embedded a YouTube video into his blog to compliment the written content. 

Below you will see that Monday.com has chosen to natively upload and host the video directly on their website.

So, which has the higher SEO value? 

In a recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours, John Mueller of Google stated that there is no direct SEO benefit coming from either of the two options

However, in true marketing fashion, it does depend.

When you choose to embed a YouTube video, Google will be faced with the choice of featuring the embedded video page or the YouTube video within the search results. 

Since you are likely embedding a video into a blog post or onto a landing page with additional content, that page will most likely win. 

As we know Google prefers to promote pages that best answers a question. Having copy will beat out a video most often because it delivers more value and a higher quality response to a query. 

 Key Takeaways 

  • No need to split hairs over the decision to embed or natively upload video content 
  • When embedding a video make sure there is additional content on the page 
  • Blog posts will outrank a plain video if it is tailored to a query 

Facebook Focuses On Better Ad Placement

Although Facebook may no longer boast the best ad targeting platform, they are releasing a new tool focusing on brand safety through topic exclusion. 

Following the advertising boycott of summer 2020, Facebook has begun pilot testing a potential solution to creating a safer social media environment for brands. It is still too early to tell if this tool will work or if it will be enough to regain the trust of all marketers. 

Topic Exclusion Tool 

With the exclusion tool, brands will be able to select topics they want to prevent from being discussed near their advertisements. Carolyn Everson, VP Global Business Group at Facebook, weighed in on this feature’s development. 

“Providing advertisers topic exclusion tools to control the content their ads appear next to is incredibly important work for us, and to our commitment to the industry via GARM (Global Alliance for Responsible Media). With privacy at the center of the work, we’re starting to develop and test for a control that will apply to News Feed. It will take time, but it’s the right work to do.”

Working with consumer privacy at top of mind, Facebook is working to scan News Feeds and ensure advertisers content won’t appear next to content surrounding excluded topics. 

For now Facebook is focusing on three topics: news and politics, social issues, and crime and tragedy. 

One provided example is: a brand aimed towards children’s products can select “crime and tragedy” as something to not be listed near. 

Therefore, Facebook’s technology will scan a user’s News Feed for content around crime and tragedy and prevent the children’s toy ad from showing up near any story related to it on their feed. 

Not only will this contribute to a better overall brand image for the advertisers in question, Facebook is taking it’s time in rolling out this feature to ensure they maintain user privacy while working with News Feeds. 

As the battle against Facebook ads and privacy claims continue, Facebook is turning its focus on enhancing safety protocols, creating a safer advertising environment, and generating some general goodwill. 

Key Takeaways

  • The choice to exclude topics will allow for safer and stronger brand messaging 
  • Amidst ad threats, new features are being released on Facebook 
  • Facebook is beginning to focus on user safety 


👋 After 27 years and growing Amazon’s market cap to $1.7 trillion, Jeff Bezos is stepping down as CEO. He is transferring the power to AWS executive Andy Jassy and will be moving into his new role as the Executive Chair of Amazon’s board in Q3 of this year. 

🤖 Phocas, a cloud-based data analytics service raised $34 million to grow its AI abilities and expand globally to reach new audiences. 

🗒 Managing shift, gig, and freelance workers, Sirenum has raised $2.7 million in Series A funding. 

💰 The finance, HR, and planning system, Workday, is acquiring Peakon, an employee engagement platform, for $700 million in an all-cash deal. 



Leveraging the ever popular freemium model, Physna has amassed tens of thousands of daily users on their 3D search platform and raised $20 million in funding.

Originally designed to help protect intellectual property and product designs from theft, Physna has been used to show users the history of the searched product, each previous model and version, and an overview of the components and parts; if it has any. 

Where it’s going, one day Physna aims to become a technology hub where users can scan 3D objects using their phone and find a model for reproduction, either as a virtual object or as ready to print file. 



16 Marketing Tips From Marketers on Twitter by Daniel Muray


Look At This Mess I’ve Made EP by Love Leo (Best Track: Head Over Heels)

Originally Sent Out Thursday, February 4, 2021. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today. Signing up also gives you early access to Ross’ Tuesday essay full of exclusive industry insights.

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