Prepare your advertising for the impact of the iOS 14 update
Changes to how users can be tracked from their devices with iOS14
Senior Paid Social Specialist
February 3, 2021
Apple has announced changes to how users can be tracked from their devices with iOS14. These changes will have significant consequences for most advertisers - and has caused Facebook to make several changes to Business Manager. The consequences of the changes to tracking will impact your reporting as fewer conversions will be attributed to your Facebook campaigns. An estimate is up to 50% loss in data. The changes from Apple are announced to take effect ‘in early 2021’, so now is the time to prepare.
The changes mean that users can choose to reject tracking, but even if the user allows it, the options for tracking for you as an advertiser, will change - and for some, the changes will have a huge impact on their paid social efforts.
The direct consequences of iOS14 are restricted, aggregated and delayed data from Facebook.
Restricted: Access to some types of data will no longer be available
Aggregated; in some instances metrics advertisers have been used to having will now be aggregated
Delayed: reporting received from apple’s devices will be 24-48 hours delayed into Business Manager.
Consequences: significant impact on data-sharing using the Facebook pixel
The specific changes are divided in three categories for advertisers: Business tool setup, Optimization & Targeting, and Measurement. You can see the specific changes, and their consequences within each category here:
Business tool setup:
Pixel events will be limited to 8 per domain
Advertisers are used to having 20+ standard events, and be able to make custom conversions as well for both tracking and optimization in conversion campaigns. In the future, this will be limited to only 8 events. This is not a limit per pixel, but per domain, so if the pixel is installed to several domains, there can be 8 events per domain. Due to this, setting up Facebook’s domain verification, if you haven’t already, is even more important than it has been previously.
What will happen to existing events? the 8 most used will be the default ones selected by Facebook, but you can always edit these 8 to match the events you prefer to track. If a user chooses to opt in on tracking, you will be able to track all 8, if the user opts out, you can only track your most important event e.g. purchase.
Action to take: Set up domain verification if it isn’t already - especially if you have one pixel on several domains.
Changes to event configuration
Due to delay of data, when an advertiser selects a new event (of their 8) OR changes the configuration, they will be prevented from optimizing for that event for 3 days. Ad sets will automatically be paused for 3 days, but won’t start automatically.
Optimization & Targeting
Conversion window targeting will change
The previous standard 28d click will be removed, 7d click is the new standard conversion window. 7d click 1d view will be changed to 7d click, no view.
Reduction in website custom audiences + increasing overlap between target groups
As less users will be tracked, your custom audiences will decrease in size. As a consequence of this, you will need to make changes to your audience settings to avoid that they become too small for targeting: e.g. increase the retargeting window from 5 to 10 days, or switch event-based audiences to an event that is higher in the funnel - e.g. from Purchase to Add to Cart. Excluding existing customers based on website actions will become more difficult - they will more likely be included in some of your target groups, so consider if your communication is suitable for this.
No 28 day attribution window, and limited view through
No conversion event breakdowns - e.g. on age and gender
You will no longer be able to see breakdowns for your conversion events - meaning whether it’s women or men buying your products, or people of a certain age
Default conversion window changes to 7d click, no view
Actions to take
Verify your domain in Facebook Business Manager
Prepare to operate and define your priority of maximum 8 pixel events per domain
Anticipate changes to attribution windows and update automated rules if necessary
Identify campaign optimization strategies that may require testing (i.e. alternative audience options, different bidding strategies etc.)
In short; this is one of the biggest changes to happen in Facebook Ads Manager in a long time, and it’s important that you prepare for it.
Want to know more?
If you have any questions, or you would like me to take a look at your current setup, to see if it complies with the upcoming changes please do not hesitate to get in touch.