ios14 update

ios14-update

Apple has started rolling out the iOS14 Update which limits Facebook in collecting user data. If you are running ads on Facebook and Instagram, you should definitely keep reading. Because there are a number of changes you have to make in your Facebook Business Manager as soon as possible – if you have not already done so. Learn more about the effects of the iOS14 Update on Facebook and Instagram advertising and what you can do to be ready for the new situation.

Table of contents

  1. What exactly is the iOS14 Update?
  2. Effect on Facebook advertising?
    1. Targeting and Delivery
    2. Attribution and Reporting
    3. Tracking
  3. What should you do as a Facebook advertiser?
    1. Domain Verification
    2. Prioritization of Pixel Events
    3. Changing of the Attribution Window
    4. Change or expand Target Groups
  4. Summary

What exactly is the iOS14 Update?

As soon as the iPhone user installs the iOS14 Update on the phone, he will see an alert asking if he wants to allow data tracking or not. This affects all apps in the App Store such as Facebook, Pinterest or TikTok. A recent study has shown that only around 12% of the users are choosing to opt in. That leaves advertisers with a lot less data to personalize ads, track perfomance and reach the right target audience. In this article, I will go little more into detail about what Facebook has done to counter the iOS14 Update and what you as an advertiser should do.

app store

Effect on Facebook advertising?

Apple’s iOS14 Update affects mainly three areas of Facebook advertising:

  • Targeting & Delivery
  • Attribution & Reporting
  • Tracking

Now we will look into these three aspects separately.

Targeting & Delivery

With most people opting out of data tracking, Facebook cannot access the same amount of user data. As a result, Remarketing and Targeting Audiences become smaller. This makes it a lot more difficult to deliver highly personalized ads to users with the right interests. Further, it is also harder to exclude audiences since users cannot be categorized accurately anymore due to lack of data.

Attribution & Reporting

The attribution window changes from 28 day to 7 days. Facebook has already forced advertisers to switch to the new conversion winow. Facebook thus reports less conversions which not only reflects in the reporting but also in the campaign performance itself. Especially for companies that show a longer customer journey, the performance of the campaign is lower since the conversion is still recorded but cannot be attributed to the right compaign anymore.

Tracking

Following the iOS14 Update, Facebook has created the Aggregate Event Measurement (AEM) function which lets advertisers define a maximum of 8 pixel events that can be prioritized according to their importance. If the user does not allow data tracking, only the top most event will be tracked. In an E-Commerce set up, this would be the purchase event. In a later section, I will explain how this prioritization can be done in the event manager.

Take into consideration that Ad Groups which are not optimized for either of these 8 events are automatically switched off and made inactive! So go through your ad account and check if this is the case anywhere.

Sidenote: Even though this Update is not concerning Android users, Facebook has implemented this system globally – for iOS and Android.

What should you do as a Facebook advertiser?

There are a number of changes you can do in the Business Manager that can minimize the effect of the iOS14 on your campaign performance. But nonetheless you will still experience some impacts in your ad accounts.

Domain Verification

The very first task you should add your to do list ist the Domain Verfication. In your Business Manager under “Brand Safety”, you can access the verfication section. Facebook gives you three options to verify your domain:

Facebook Domain Verification

  • DNS-Verification (here you just drop a TXT record into your DNS – you will need Server-Administrator access to do this)
  • Upload an HTML file to your root directory of the website
  • Integrate a tag which Facebook provides you into the <head> section of your website

Whichever method you prefer is your choice. All of them work great.

After you have completed the task, you have to go back to the Business Manager and hit the button “Confirm”. Only after this is done, you are set and good to go.

Prioritization of Pixel Events

Facebook Aggregate Event Measurement

If you go to the events manager, you will see the tab “Aggregate Event Measurement” or AEM. Here you can define a maximum of 8 pixel events and prioritize them. The prioritization should be made according to the customer journey the user takes on your website.

Remember, only the top event will be tracked if a user opts out of data tracking. You can imagine this as a ladder which the user clims and whenever he stops, thats the event that gets the data and none else below.

Here is an example of how that could look like for an E-Commerce company:

Facebook Pixel Prioritization

If the users chooses to allow data tracking, all 8 events will receive data.

Keep also in mind that per domain, only 8 events can be defined, that includes subdomains as well. Another important fact is that if you use Purchase with Value Optimization, that accounts for 4 events. That means in this case you already filled 4 of the 8 slots and are left with only 4 additional events you can prioritize.

When you make changes to the prioritization, make sure you plan it properly since every change will pause the affected Ad Groups for 72h in order to implement your adjustement.

Changing of the Attribution Window

Facebook advertisiers have been literally forced to switch to the new attribution window of 7 days. What is left for you to do is to look over your campaigns and check if your optimization goals still make sense. If applicable, you should adjust ROAS or fine tune your bidding strategies to match the new situation.

Change or expand Target Groups

Last but not least, you have to review your Target Groups since they got a lot smaller due to the iOS14 Update. Custom Audiences should be expanded so your ads are still served to a reasonably sized audience. This is not only relevant for your main campaigns but also for your retargeting. But Custom Audiences that are based on Facebook-Engagement or Interactions will still remain intact. That’s the good news. Also keep in mind that it’s a lot harder for Facebook to accurately exclude audiences.

Summary

The Apple iOS14 Update brings major changes for Facebook & Social Media advertisers and should be taken seriously. But if you take the right steps, you can still utalize these great platforms to run effective campaigns with a great ROI.