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Facebook iOS 14 & Facebook Ads: What Marketers Need to Know

Posted on May 14, 2021

Last summer, Apple released its new iOS14 update. As part of this update, there were changes made to the ad policies which reduced advertisers’ ability to create targeted ads for users on iOS 14 devices. When this update was announced, Facebook pushed back against the update and stated that Apple’s new update would affect small businesses

Now, in 2021, the new updates are set to roll out and start affecting how advertisers and marketers target their audiences. If you’re a marketer, you may be wondering how these new changes will affect targeted Facebook ads.

The Apple iOS 14 update

What Is The iOS 14 Update?

Apple’s new iOS 14 update, which was available to be downloaded in September of 2020, added new features on Apple devices and made a few changes to downloaded apps. While the new update may leave your iPhone looking sleek and organized, it also caught the attention of advertisers and marketers who rely on targeted advertisements, specifically on Facebook and Instagram.

The update included a new policy called the App Tracking Transparency policy that puts up a prompt for users when they download from the app store. The prompt asks users for their permission to allow third-party tracking. App developers, then, must share what kind of information they are collecting and what they intend to do with the data in order to be transparent with the user.

What Does This Have To Do With Facebook?

When the update was originally announced, Facebook voiced its frustration and claimed that these changes would have a strong impact on small businesses and their advertising strategies. Data collection and ad targeting have become hot topics since people have become more aware of how social media tracks a user’s movements and behavior. It is likely that many users will opt out of data collection and tracking when using the Facebook app on their iOS devices.

Facebook and an Apple iOS device

How Does The Update Affect Advertising?

This update is meant to be more open and upfront to users about data tracking and targeting on apps and platforms. Simply put, the Apple update requires all mobile apps available on the app store to show a prompt to iOS 14 users that allows them to accept or opt-out of tracking across platforms. This new iOS 14 policy also prevents certain types of information collection and data tracking unless people opt in at the prompt.

It is likely that iOS14 will affect Facebook advertising and other business tools on a mobile device in a variety of ways. There are a few key things to consider when creating ads for Facebook in the future.

Skewed Conversions

These upcoming changes will likely change how businesses advertise to and reach their audience network. Because users can opt-out of targeting, data sharing, and conversion tracking on iOS 14, businesses will likely have skewed reported conversions and their marketing efforts may be less effective.

Your Advertising Efforts May be Less Effective

Because of this new iOS 14 policy, Facebook advertisers will likely have to adjust their marketing strategies in order to create effective ads and reach their target audiences. For example, ads that are not as targeted to users could have an impact on a business and mean fewer website sales from Facebook ads. It may also mean that your app install campaign is affected by the user prompt.

Another example is when a customer purchases various products from a business that advertises on Facebook. Instead of being able to promote targeted ads that showcase similar products, these ads will be less specific and will not cater to individuals. This also may mean that remarketing audiences will be smaller since less data is being collected.

Marketers planning strategies for the iOS update

What Should Marketers Expect?

While other advertising platforms may take a different approach to the iOS 14 update, Facebook has released information for advertisers about these changes. To prepare for the updates and to plan accordingly, there are a few things that marketers should keep in mind when advertising, especially with Facebook Ads.

Limited Conversion Events

With the Apple iOS 14 upgrade, advertisers and businesses can expect a change in how Facebook and other platforms process conversion events. There will also be a limit of 8 conversion events per domain. While this change happens automatically, it will be important for advertisers to plan their events accordingly. This conversion event limit includes both custom AND pixel vents.

If your business currently has ad sets that are not optimized for one of these 8 events, these sets will be paused in your Ads Manager. It will be important that you optimize an ad set for one of the primary 8 events.

Ads Reporting

Another change that is expected when users update to ios 14 has to do with ad reporting. With the change, any kind of 28-day attributions will no longer be supported. If your ad account currently uses these, it will be important to compare your 28-day click conversions with 7-day click conversions to see if there is any impact or change in data.

Facebook and website conversion events will now be reported based on 7-day click and 1-day view attribution windows which means that Facebook will report on a conversion when a user sees your ads and converts within 1 day or clicks on your ad and converts within 7 days.

Events Manager

To keep track of events like a purchase, add to cart, link clicks, lead, and other website action, Facebook has put together Aggregated Event Management which is a software that hopes to measure ad and campaign performance while abiding by the iOS 14 ad policy. This is meant to lessen the impact that these updates have on an advertising business that relies on targeted ads.

Tracking and Targeting

In the event that users opt-out of app tracking and data sharing/collection, Facebook advertisers may experience a decrease in connections and in your target audience. To make sure you still reach a large audience, you may broaden your scope and impact.

google ads screenshot

What About Google Ads?

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how the Apple iOS 14 upgrade is going to affect Facebook Ads, so you may also be wondering about other ad platforms like Google.

Some key things to consider include:

  • reduced conversion visibility which may affect how advertisers bid on impressions
  • advised upgrade to Google Analytics for Firebase
  • continued monitoring of campaigns and ad accounts

 

Regardless of whether you’re using Google or Facebook ads, the iOS14 app policy will likely have an impact on your ads. It will be vital to use tools like event measurement, events manager, and other strategies in order to monitor your campaigns and ads.

When the software rolls out, it will be smart to monitor your campaigns and ads closely to see how the changes affect your current advertising strategies so that you can adjust accordingly.

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