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Apple’s iOS 14 Update May Radically Change Your Facebook Campaign
There’s always some hubbub when Apple updates their iOS.

Usually, any clamor surrounds new emojis or UX tweaks. This time, for iOS 14, there’s a lot more on the line that will directly impact the way advertisers are able to market on apps and mobile devices.

The crux of Apple’s update—and the flurry of discourse surrounding it—is the requirement that all apps in the app store prompt users in accordance with their App Tracking Transparency framework. In other words, this is creating a limitation on data sharing. In particular, the update has substantial implications on buying objectives, audience targeting and measurement on Facebook.

To help see through the flurry, much of which is still spinning, we are working with Facebook and other partners to better understand the changes and be at the forefront of the latest developments and solutions.

Despite the uncertainty, there is valuable information that we do know.

Advertisers will be limited to eight (8) conversion events per domain, depending on how the domain is set up for different regions. Check out this graphic:

  • If your global domain structure is set up like the one on the left or right, this will mean that your website will only be able to track 8 items on the website. This includes things like Searches, Purchases, Add to Carts, and Submitting an Application. Facebook pixels will still be able to track one event on iOS users who opt-out of tracking, but the event that is tracked will be determined by how you prioritize these conversion events within Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement tool. Keep in mind that each custom conversion does count as a separate event. Consider prioritizing events based on a “bottom-up” approach, with your lowest funnel events at the top, in an effort to not waste the 1 event being tracked on a user just visiting a product page.
  • If you’re set up like the middle domain structure, you will be able to track 8 events per pixel installed on the website. You will still need to set your event prioritization for each pixel that is installed.

Another change to note is Facebook’s attribution window, which is now being reduced to a 1-Day View and 7-Day Click. Currently, Facebook uses a default attribution window of 1-Day View and 28-Day Click, so this will affect tracking in-platform performance, especially for brands who offer products that have a longer purchase journey. To prepare for the change, brands should look at their historical campaign data and analyze the differences between attribution windows to help inform new benchmarks based on the smaller window.

There are a few unknowns at the moment. For one, when the prompt is implemented. This will be the threshold between the way things were and the way things will be. Right now, we’re anticipating this to take place in early spring. Monitoring opt-in rates will be an intriguing story. This will let us know the degree of impact and can help quantify the update. For now, anticipate website retargeting audiences to decrease to some degree once the update is live.

Facebook has been the loudest in its opposition to the updates, but this will surely impact other digital advertisers as well. Regardless of the players and their feelings, Empower is staying ready for the game ahead.