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How the Apple iOS 14 privacy update will impact Facebook advertising?

If you haven’t heard of it yet, the Apple iOS 14 update is the major topic in the world of digital marketing right now! The roll-out of the new system is making a fuss mostly because of the impact on ad targeting and most of the marketers and platforms are buckling up for big changes to come with it. The update sparked a huge debate between these two tech giants regarding user privacy, ad targeting and “hidden” motives in this, let’s call it, a war in the marketing ecosystem. And while Facebook’s initial response was resistance, eventually it decided to go with the flow and prepare its platform for partners and businesses using it.

For all the marketers who utilize Facebook advertising, we gathered some important information on the subject and details on how to prepare for the upcoming changes.

What does the iOS 14 policy imply?

In order to fully understand the impact of the policy on Facebook, first, we need to explain what’s the initial issue here. In short, Apple with a new update requires that all the apps display a prompt to its users with a pop-up window asking for permission to track them in any given way. This includes permissions to track users’ data across websites and third-party apps. Users simply decided whether they accept or decline on giving permission for apps to do so.

The reason why ad platforms don’t like it is that without those pieces of information the targeting and many other functions that rely on them are jeopardized. Also, many privacy issues and data scandals in the past give a hint that many of the users will be deciding to opt-out. This has a significant impact on Facebook because almost 80% of the users of the application use it only on their mobile phones, with an additional 18.5% that use it on both their computers and phones at the same time, according to Statista. 

What changes can we expect to happen?

Facebook recently officially underlined the changes we can see on their platform following the update. According to this, businesses that advertise mobile apps, as well as those that optimize, target, and report on web conversion events from any of our business tools will be affected. Here is a list of the general changes that Facebook announced:

Facebook Ad Creation

  • Your pixel may only optimize for a maximum of 8 conversion events for each domain. Facebook will configure the conversion events that are the most relevant to your business based on your previous activity.
  • Auction is the only available buying option when you create an ad for iOS 14 devices, reach and frequency are not available.
  • You can only associate your app with a single ad account. However, you will be able to use the same ad account for advertising multiple apps.

Facebook Reporting

  • Real-time reporting will not be supported, and data may be delayed up to 3 days.
  • For both app and web conversions, delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, region, and placement will not be supported.
  • 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported for active campaigns. Instead, the following windows will be supported: 1-day click, 7-day click, 1-day click and 1-day view, 7-day click and 1-day view.

Facebook Targeting

  • As more people opt-out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, the size of your app connections, app activity Custom Audiences, and website Custom Audiences may decrease.

How to prepare?

Facebook is currently implementing Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) that should compensate for loss of functionalities due to these changes. It should help advertisers to run effective campaigns in some sort of way, regarding the circumstances.

Facebook also gave some general tips on how to prepared for the iOS 14 roll-out:

  • Verify your website domain with Facebook ASAP, especially if you have pixels on your domain owned by more than one entity.
  • Although Facebook will initially choose the events that might be the best ones for your business, review your current Pixel Events and decide which 8 events you’d like to track.
  • For dynamic ads, ensure that your catalog is only utilizing one tracking pixel.
  • Download all your historic data for previously available Attribution and Conversion Windows you may need.
  • Implement the Facebook Conversion API

Bracing for impact

The iOS 14 update stands as the biggest challenge in the past couple of years that advertising platforms such as Facebook will have to face. This update will mark a start of a new era in digital marketing, impact many people and companies relying on it and nobody is sure what’s the true extent of changes to come. However, most are united in the thought that Facebook won’t give up so easily on this fight. Nobody should expect a massive breakdown of Facebook advertising. Surely some new tools, solutions and methodologies are being developed right now and we are all excited to see them coming our way. We will soon have several workarounds that will help us weather the storm. It’s not the first time we are facing such a major threat, remember GDPR, by the way?

We, at GrowMojo, are carefully watching for new updates and information on these subjects every day and as a company adapt accordingly to these changes. Keep checking back with us to learn more about this topic and contact our team if you need assistance implementing the Facebook Conversion API or any assistance with your advertising in the future. We will be happy to help you!

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