How Apple’s IOS14 changes could affect your Facebook ads

Apple is bringing out a new update later this year which will allow iPhone users to opt out of app tracking. This is significant as this will impact the way Facebook receives and processes conversion events from tools such as Facebook Pixel. Businesses that optimise, target and report on web conversion events from any of Facebook’s business tools will be affected by this new update, but the main thing to keep in mind is don’t panic, Facebook will not let this affect their business and they are already working on how to ensure businesses aren’t being hugely affected by the changes that will occur.

The main change with IOS 14 update

The main challenge for those using Facebook ads is that Apple will require all apps in the App Store to show a prompt to users in accordance with their AppTrackingTransparency framework, prohibiting certain data collection and sharing unless users opt in to tracking on their device via said prompt. This means that ads personalisation and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.

You will notice a few changes over the coming weeks with Ads Managers. This will include glitches on the dashboard and Events Manager, the results in columns not displaying properly and a prompt to verify your domain on the Business Manager. Ultimately, analysing ads will be more difficult to carry out and it may be harder to optimise.

After the update is released there will be some challenges you will face with your advertising campaign. There will be a delay in event recording due to the Aggregated Event Measurement: this means you can react slower, and actually run “blind” during the first days of the new campaigns. As your targeted audience partly (or even mostly if you are not lucky) will not give permission for data sharing, the size of highly relevant audiences will shrink. Some audience sizes can shrink so significantly which would make them quite impossible to target. Due to the limited data, it will be more difficult to reach the most relevant group of people for your business and if the reported data is delayed for 3 days, you will keep on targeting the purchasers for an extra 3 days that you didn’t need to. This decreases effectiveness and increases CPA.

Facebook response to IOS 14

Facebook will start processing pixel conversion events from IOS 14 devices using Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM). This is a protocol which allows for measurement of web events from IOS 14 users which will limit domains to 8 conversion events for campaign optimisation. This is comparable to Apple’s Private Click Measurement which enables the measurement of ad campaigns that direct users to websites without affecting user privacy, however, Aggregated Event Management aims to solve key advertiser use cases not addressed by Apple’s proposal. The account limits by AEM will not apply until Apple begins to enforce their IOS 14 changes and until that time, you can set up your events to use AEM and it will not impact optimisation and reporting.

If you do not configure eight preferred web conversion events in Events Manager by the time the update rolls out, Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are most relevant to your business based on your activity. To prevent this ensure you configure those you prefer, as all other events will be made inactive for campaign optimisation and reporting.

What you can do to prepare for these changes

To help personalise ads delivered to IOS 14 users and keep receiving app conversion events reporting, make sure to update to Facebook SDK for IOS to version 8.1 or above. If you do not you will be unable to create IOS 14 app install campaigns. By doing this you will be able to deliver more personalised ads to IOS 14 users, continue to measure app install ads, continue to optimise mobile app installs, app event optimisation and value optimisation, send the Advertiser Tracking Enabled (ATE) flag with app events to share user consent status and share app events if the ATE flag is enabled and set to be true.

You may need to verify your website to help avoid future disruption of your website campaign. First of all ensure prioritisation of updating domains with pixels used by multiple businesses or personal ad accounts as this will allow you to configure pixel conversion events when Aggregated Events Management becomes available.

Although this can all seem daunting for your business or the businesses that you work with, do not panic. We will inevitably adapt to the changes that will occur and Facebook will not allow this update to affect their business. As you can see, they are already considering how to work with the new update and there are certain preparations you and your client can make to work around the issues that may occur with the new privacy changes. Ultimately make sure to focus on making the small changes that will help your business run smoothly once the update comes out later this year and know that you are not alone in dealing with the outcomes of this update which we will all get through together.

If you have any questions regarding the IOS 14 changes to Facebook advertising, please feel free to email and we will do our best to help.

By Aphrael Spindloe, Shoo Academy.