What will Apple’s iOS 14 changes mean for the future of Facebook Advertising?

March 9, 2021




By now you’ve probably heard Apple is making some big changes with its iOS 14 update which will significantly impact Facebook advertisers.

Our Social Media Manager Laura Bates is keeping track and explains what to expect from your Facebook advertising in the coming months.

What are the changes?

Apple has announced that it is about to begin rolling out an update to its iOS 14 operating system. As part of this, users will be asked to allow certain apps to track their activity.

The update is referred to as App Tracking Transparency (ATT). And transparency is at the heart of it. What the change means is when users install certain apps on their devices, they’ll be asked if they want to ‘opt-in’ and give the app permission to track their activity and collect their data. For users that don’t want to do this, and choose to ‘opt-out’, the apps will not be able to collect their data.

Like most things in life, there’s an upside and a downside to everything. On the plus side, this update will give users more control over the way they do, or don’t, want their information to be tracked, stored and used.  For businesses who rely on obtaining information about their consumers, through platforms like Facebook, the impacts could be significant.

How will the changes affect Facebook advertising?

Facebook offers extremely detailed targeting options for advertisers. This is one of the reasons it’s so popular with small, medium and large businesses. Facebook is able to provide highly detailed targeting options because it can collect information on user behaviour both in, and outside, the app.

Apple’s upcoming update will impact the way Facebook can receive and process conversion events. These events include generating leads or completing a purchase. Event conversion will be impacted because users who opt-out of ATT will essentially stop their data from being shared with Facebook and this will impact the effectiveness of the platform’s advertising tools.

It’s too early to tell how significant the impact will be but with more than  80% of Facebook users accessing Facebook on their mobiles, it is clear a lot of information will disappear.

­­What will the specific impact be?

Facebook is still getting its head around the changes and how they will impact advertisers but it has outlined several areas that are likely be affected including campaign set-up, targeting, delivery and reporting.

Campaign set-up

  • Facebook has already been prompting users to verify their domains in preparation for the changes. Verifying your domain gives you full control and editing privileges of your links and other content.
  • Users will now be limited to eight conversion events per domain and be asked to rank each event in order of importance.
  • If multiple events are completed by a user in a single session, the higher ranking event will be reported. For example, if you prioritise the purchase event over the add to cart event, only the purchase event will be reported.
  • When events are edited, it will take 72-hours for campaign changes to be applied.

Targeting and delivery

Facebook has now changed the default attribution setting to 7-day click and 1-day view. This means if a user clicks on your ad, any further actions they take in the following 7-days  are attributed to your ad. This may result in fewer reported conversions because information about users who act 7-days after clicking on your ad will not be captured.

  • Facebook has also removed the 28-day click-through, 28-day view and 7-day view attribution settings which means custom and retargeting audience sizes may be impacted, and potentially reduced in size, due to the loss of user data as the attribution windows are shorter.

Reporting

  • Facebook has also indicated that there may be a 24 – 48 hour delay for offsite conversion to be reported due to the changes.
  • Some reporting measures will not be supported for offsite conversion including age, gender, and region.

As a consumer should I opt-out?

“We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first.” – Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Apple has made it clear that the ATT in iOS 14 is designed to give users more control over how their information is shared and collected. From a consumer view-point, this news may seem momentous. However, it is important to remember that opting out does not mean you will not see any ads. It just means you are more likely to see ads that are not personalised or relevant to you.

What can you do now?

There are a number of steps you can take right now to get ahead of the pending changes:

1. Verify your domain

Domain verification provides a way for you to claim ownership of your domain in Business Manager.

2. Select and prioritise eight conversion events per domain

It is now important to identify and confirm your top eight conversion events per domain including landing page views or link clicks.

When you have chosen your top eight (maximum), update the priority of your events in Facebook Business Manager. If your domain currently runs ads, conversion events will be auto-configured based on campaign spend within the last 28 days. These changes will be applied in the Events Manager tab. 

3. Anticipate changes and plan accordingly

Now is the time to test new strategies and targeting options in anticipation for change. Look into how bid strategies, audience segmentation and event optimisation can be tested and tweaked for future campaigns. This will help you predict future results, develop new social media ad strategies and establish new best practices.

How will Algo Más address these changes?

We are monitoring Apple and Facebook so we stay up to date with the change that is coming – and its impacts.

It is likely some of the campaign strategies we currently use for clients will need to be reviewed and reconsidered in the coming months as there is a possibility that some targeting options will affect audience size and optimisation.

We recommend taking the time to review your strategy when Apple implements its iOS14 update and tailoring your strategy in response. iOS14 update, or not, we recommend a regular review of your social media strategy because it can lead to new and exciting opportunities in the digital space.

 

Like to know more about how the Apple iSO 14 changes will impact your social media? Contact Laura at laurab@algomas.com.au or 7081 2500.

Article by Laura Bates, Social Media Manager, Algo Más

 

 

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