Apple’s iOS 14 Update: What it Means for Your Facebook Ad Account

We’ve seen lots of chatter online about Apple’s iOS 14 update and have even heard from clients who all want to know the same thing:

What does the iOS 14 update mean for my Facebook ad campaigns?

Luckily, our team has the inside scoop!

Kathryn Lagden, Paid Media and Digital Strategist, brings over 20+ years of experience to team Spodek & Co., building marketing strategies to build brands, launch new products, and grow business. She provides clients with deep expertise in digital strategy and building and managing paid media campaigns on Google and Facebook.

Today, Kathryn is sharing everything you need to know in easy-to-understand terms and providing strategic tips to prep for the latest software drop and minimize negative outcomes.

Apple iOS 14 and the impact on Facebook advertising

In a nutshell, iOS 14 is changing the way that apps work.

Apps will be required to ask explicit permission from users to gather their personal data. The general expectation is that most users will opt out of sharing these details, changing the way some apps operate.

A lot is still unknown about the true impact of the update, but Facebook has shared some insights on how it could affect advertising partners, noting that those who “optimize, target, and report on web conversion events from any of our business tools will be affected.”

How iOS is changing Facebook ad targeting and optimization

For Facebook advertisers, the iOS 14 update could have the biggest impact on ad targeting. For example, let’s consider a campaign that incorporates retargeting an audience of people that visited a website but didn’t take the next step to purchase or sign up for a product or service. Without receiving information back from websites, Facebook won’t be able to build retargeting audiences.

Lookalike and interest-based audiences are similar, without shared data these audiences that typically perform well in ad campaigns might not be as robust, how useful they’ll continue to be remains to be seen.

Facebook’s ability to optimize might also take a hit, particularly with conversion campaigns as Facebook won’t receive the same conversion data after the person clicks on the ad and leaves Facebook. This was originally one of the biggest concerns but over the past couple of weeks Facebook has clarified that it will receive one conversion event per person based on a hierarchy the advertiser sets when prioritizing events. Facebooks optimization might be more limited, but the impact is expected to be much smaller than originally anticipated.

How iOS 14 is changing Facebook ad reporting

Advertisers will still be able to generate reports with data that detail what happens on Facebook (think impressions, clicks, etc.), but actions a user takes after they leave the platform will no longer be tracked.

Facebook will also be limiting the number of conversion events to a maximum of 8 and tightening the current attribution window to 1 or 7 days.

In addition to the limited data, there will also be a delay in reporting of 1-3 days.

But there’s also some good news here: with proper tagging and effective use of web analytics, these reporting changes shouldn’t be too much of a hassle for advertisers. The numbers will still be accessible, just not in the Facebook Ads Manager.

How to prepare your Facebook advertising account for iOS 14

Luckily, there are a few things that can be done in the short term to help prepare for the impact of iOS 14 on Facebook advertising:

  • Determine how many users in your audience are operating on iOS – this will help to better understand (and navigate) the potential impact. 50% is a good approximation.
  • Optimize traffic campaigns for clicks (or daily unique views) instead of landing page views.
  • Revise the number of conversion events set up in Events Manager to the maximum of 8 that Facebook will now allow and think about how you’ll prioritize them.
  • Check your tracking parameter structure to ensure all desired information is available in web analytics.
  • Ensure your domain is verified as per Facebook’s recommendation.

In the longer term, we’ll also be helping our clients continue to build permission-based audiences and take advantage of seamless in-app features, like Facebook Shops.

Do you have questions or concerns about iOS 14 and its impact on your Facebook advertising strategies? Reach out to our team today – we’d love to help.

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site