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What do the new iOS14 updates mean for your Facebook & Instagram Advertising?

What do the new iOS14 updates mean for your Facebook & Instagram Advertising?

Female typing on laptop with title of the blog post What do the new iOS14 updates mean for your Facebook & Instagram Advertising? written in a dark green circle.

In early 2021 Apple will be implementing a number of policy changes, that will have an impact on data sharing across iOS device (iPhones, iMacs, iPads etc). When these changes come into force Apple will require that all apps to show a tracking permission prompt to users on all iOS14 devices. This new policy will stop the collection and sharing of certain data unless people opt-in to tracking when these prompts are shown. Essentially Apple are making steps towards allowing it’s users to have more privacy control. 

These changes won’t just affect Facebook, it’ll affect any apps that track peoples’ activity/collect data in order to advertise or personalised services, such as Google, Pinterest etc. 

How will these updates affect your Facebook & Instagram Advertising?

 At this moment we cannot tell for certain what the implications will be from the iOS14 update and how they will specifically affect Facebook & Instagram advertising and it’s likely to vary from account to account.

However, there are a few things we do know…

As Apple will now request users to opt in to tracking it will affect how Facebook receives and processes data from the Facebook Pixel and will therefore impact on your ability to track and market to potential and current customers via Facebook & Instagram ads.

Your Custom and Lookalike Audience will be affected

Naturally as more and more people start to opt-out of tracking via their iOS14 devices, the sizes of your Website Custom Audiences (e.g Website Visitors, Purchasers, View Content etc) will be smaller than before the changes. This in turn will affect your remarketing and retargeting of your warm audiences. This will also in turn affect exclusions and lookalike audiences. When you are using exclusions they may be less accurate than before, and your lookalike audiences may be weaker because your ‘seed’ audience (the website custom audience discussed above) won’t be as large/accurate as before. 

As we understand it currently you won’t see an impact on the quality of your audiences built within Facebook & Instagram apps e.g Page Followers.

You’ll experience Delayed Reporting 

Real-time reporting will not be supported on your Facebook analytic dashboard and data may be delayed by up to three days.

Your Results may be incomplete or estimated

 Going forwards your metrics will not include all of the events from iOS14 users, because some will inevitably opt out of tracking. Facebook has therefore said that statistical modelling will be used for certain metrics to take into account conversions by users on devices that have opted out. Occasionally this data will be partial, which will then be communicated on your Facebook Analytics dashboard.

Your Data Breakdowns will no longer be supported. 

You’ll no longer be able to see the breakdown of data for your ads, by certain delivery and action parameters e.g. Age, Gender, Region etc.  

You’ll only be able to report on a maximum of 8 Conversion events. 

From now on you’ll only be able to report on a maximum of 8 conversion events per domain. If you are using the standard eCommerce set of conversions – Page Views, View Content, Add to Cart, Initiate Checkout and Purchase, this change will not affect you. As we’ve discussed above all of those people who have opted-in to tracking on iOS14 and Android users will be included in your reporting as before the policy update. 

Those people using iOS14 who opt out of tracking, will still be tracked and reported but by the highest priority event. Any other events will not be tracked. For example, if you prioritise your events as: Purchase > Initiate Checkout > Add to Cart > View Content (with Purchase being most important) and a user who opted out makes a purchase, you will only see the Purchase event reported. If the user does not make a purchase but added a product to their cart, the advertiser will see the Add to Cart event reported.

Your conversions will be attributed to the day they take place.

For example, if I clicked on an ad for a pair of shoes on Friday  but didn’t buy it until the next day (Saturday), historically the purchase would have been attributed to the Friday (the day I clicked the ad). Moving forward, it will be attributed to the Saturday (the day I triggered the conversion event, in this case, a Purchase).

Your default attribution window will change.

It’s likely that your account is currently set up to a 28-Day Click/1-Day View attribution window. This is when Facebook reports on Conversion events that have happened within 1 day of viewing an ad, or 28 days of clicking on an ad. 

From mid-late January, the default for all new or active ad campaigns will be set to 7-Day click attribution window. 7 Day Click/1-Day View will be an option, but 28-Day Click will no longer be available. 

Unfortunately this will make your reported Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) look worse. All of this will depend on your customers’ typical time to convert, for example it’s likely that lower priced items will be less affected as they are likely to be quicker conversions. 

So what do you need to do now?

There is no need to PANIC! We don’t entirely know the impact of all these changes, but we are sure that Facebook will be implementing workarounds over time. It’s best to just continue to advertise as you have been and keep an eye out for any updates from Facebook, or your Ads Strategist.