Apple's new iOS14 update will see the biggest changes to privacy and data in the last 5 years, and the impacts are pretty big for Facebook advertising. If you are advertising on Facebook, it’s certain that you will be affected in some capacity, so it’s important to plan and understand how the changes may impact your business.
How will the iOS14 update actually impact advertisers?
Honestly, Facebook still doesn't quite know how this update will affect advertisers, but they’ve released a list of actions we can take now to prepare.
The update from Apple is centred around privacy and security. This is particularly important for apps. Once the update has been rolled out, every single app developer will have to provide an explanation as to how they’re using their customers' data. Plus, from January 19th 2021, they will also need to ask for permission. As you can imagine, in many cases users choose not to be tracked, which will have an impact on ad reach, and we’re likely to see an increase in cost per click too.
So, for mobile iOS users who decide to opt out of tracking, they can no longer be tracked by the Facebook pixel. This means that those users will no longer be tracked when visiting your website, which, depending on the amount of mobile traffic you receive is likely to impact any remarketing campaigns and conversion tracking.
Facebook claims Apple’s changes will be “devastating to small businesses” that rely on its ad network to generate sales. They have made it very clear that they do not agree, or stand by the changes to privacy, and recognise the impact it will have on advertisers, and the small business community that rely on it.
In one of their updates regarding this change, Facebook stated:
‘We believe that free, ad-supported businesses have been essential to the growth and vitality of the Internet, and that personalised ads and user privacy can coexist. We support proactive privacy measures and data transparency, but we don't agree with Apple's policy changes.’
Who will be hit hardest by the iOS14 Update?
You’ve probably guessed it, but if most of your audience is coming from iOS mobile, you’re going to see quite a decrease in performance from your ads. This is especially true for Instagram as this is rarely used on desktop.
Elements of advertising via the Facebook Family that will be impacted:
- Events set up - There’s now a limit of 8 conversion events per domain. Facebook will automatically configure the events most relevant to your business based on your activity.
- Optimisations - You will no longer be able to access breakdowns such as age, gender and location.
- Targeting - Dynamic advertising and personalisation will be impacted, and it’s likely that your audience sizes will decrease.
- Reporting - There’s expected to be a 3 day delay for anyone using iOS devices which will impact your overall reporting and any real time data.
- Attribution - There will no longer be 28 day attribution options, only 7 days.
Please note that these are only going to impact iOS users, other devices will have the same targeting capabilities and functionality.
How you can prepare for the changes
Yes, the new update isn’t ideal for Facebook advertising, but Facebook are already putting things into place that will help with the changes. Facebook has advised making a start on these steps as soon as possible to best prepare for the update.
Actions to take if you optimise, target and measure using app events:
- If you have an app, review Facebook’s data ingestion practices available in Facebook’s developer’s blog post to inform your app privacy details via Apple’s App Store Connect.
- If using the Facebook SDK, update to version 8.1 or above. If you’re not using Facebook SDK, now would be a good time to.
Actions to take If you optimise, target and measure using web events:
- The most important thing to do right now is verify your web domain in Facebook Business Manager. There’s specific details on how to do this here.
A couple other things you can do to prepare
- Look at how the changes might affect your ad account, especially when it comes to the attribution window.
- Review your current campaign set up and the potential for testing different placements e.g. test manual placements and see if that makes any difference to the CPC.
Not sure how this will impact your online advertising? Don’t worry, we’re all muddling through it. Facebook themselves have said they’re not entirely sure how the updates will impact advertising, but they will do everything they can to provide clear guidance and support.
As Facebook partners, we receive the latest updates and guidance from Facebook. We will continue to update this post inline with the developments and recommendations.
If you're concerned or need an ad agency who's ready to react to updates such is this, we are the people you're looking for. Get in touch and we'll be happy to discuss your options and make the decision that works for your business.