How iOS14 Will Affect Social Media Ad Campaigns

What the iOS14 Update Means for Your Facebook Campaigns

If you’re currently running ads on Facebook and Instagram, get ready because changes are coming! Apple’s early spring iOS14 update (version 14.5)  is going to change the way we advertise on Facebook and Instagram as we know it, or so it seems. There is still a lot that is unknown. Facebook continues to share information with us as they learn more, but until this update actually rolls out, we can only make assumptions as to how it’s going to impact our campaigns.

In the meantime, here’s what we do know:

What is being released in the iOS14 update?

Apple App Store apps that typically track users across other apps and websites will need to ask users for permission to track them through Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) Framework. This will appear as a prompt when users click into their favorite apps such as Facebook. This prompt gives users two options, “allow tracking” or “ask app not to track”. If a user allows tracking, there will be no changes to their data use. If a user opts out of tracking, their data use will be limited and conversion tracking will be restricted, aggregated and delayed. While this is a positive step towards privacy for the user, it’s going to lead to challenges for advertisers when they are trying to determine the success of their Facebook campaigns.

Changes Facebook is making to comply with ATT

You may be thinking if a user opts-in to tracking or better yet, a user is using a non-apple device, then you’ll be able to track conversions as you always have, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple! In order to comply with ATT, Facebook had to make some major changes to the way they are currently measuring conversions.

  1. 8-Event limit per domain: Gone are the days of tracking all the actions your users can take on your website. Now you are limited to tracking only 8 events per domain. Facebook will ask advertisers to configure these events by reviewing and prioritizing the events. If a user has opted out of tracking, only the highest prioritized event will be tracked. If a user has opted in or they are using a non-apple device, all 8 events will be tracked.
  2. 7-day attribution window: All events will be tracked using a 7-day click through attribution window. This means that a user must click on your ad and perform an action within 7 days in order for it to be tracked and recorded by your campaigns. If your highest prioritized event is something that typically takes users longer than 7 days to complete, then Facebook won’t be able to record that event.

It’s no surprise that these changes are going to impact the number of conversions your campaigns record each month. We are expecting to see fewer conversions which will impact your ability and Facebook’s ability to optimize campaigns. In addition to lower conversion volume, as users opt out of tracking, they will no longer be added to your remarketing audiences which will result in a decline in audience size.

What do I need to do with my ads for iOS14?

At this point, you’re probably wondering “What can I possibly do?” Luckily, Facebook has provided a few actions for advertisers to take to prepare for the iOS14 update. In Facebook Ad Manager, there is a “Resource Center” section to help you determine the specific actions you need to take for your account, but in general here are the three actions every advertiser should complete:

  1. Domain verification: Verifying your domain tells Facebook that you are the official owner of your domain. Completed through your Facebook Business Manager, domain verification enables you to configure your 8 events. This step is required if there are multiple pixels on your domain that are owned by multiple Business Manager or ad accounts. While this is not mandatory for advertisers that have one Business Manager that owns the pixels on their domain, it is still highly recommended.
  2. Event configuration: In Events Manager, you’ll prioritize your events to make sure your main conversion action is listed first as this is the only conversion that will be tracked for users that have opted out of tracking.
  3. Review Ad Sets: Ensure ad sets that are optimizing for conversions are utilizing one of your 8 configured events. If the ad set is optimizing for an event not listed within your 8, the ad set will be paused once the update is released.

While Apple has yet to confirm the official release date of the iOS14 update, we highly recommend preparing your campaigns as soon as possible by following the actions above to avoid any disruptions.

What’s next after iOS14 launches?

The thought of losing most of your conversion tracking on your Facebook campaigns is a hard pill to swallow. But if it helps, you’re not alone in this. All Facebook advertisers are anxiously anticipating this update so we can finally see what results are going to look like. We’re trying to stay positive and have hopes that maybe, just maybe, this won’t affect our campaigns as much as we think it might. But until then, we’re here if you need us to help manage your Facebook campaigns or for moral support. Get in touch if you need us.

And once you’ve been able to tackle this iOS14 update hurdle, its important to keep dialing in the other elements of a well managed digital advertising campaign, your landing pages. Make sure your landing pages are working for you!

About VONT Performance Digital Marketing

At VONT we believe that change is the only constant in the digital world – and that excites us. When tools and environments are constantly changing, new opportunities to help our clients achieve success are constantly arising. Each new advertising technology, social platform, or design approach allows us to improve on the results we achieve for our clients.

We believe in this idea of continual fine-tuning so much that we named our company VONT, which means to achieve exponential improvement in incremental steps. It is our core belief, and the reason why we are not simply a web design company or simply a digital advertising agency, but rather a long-term, single source partner providing a comprehensive array of web development and digital marketing capabilities.

In short, we’re here so that our clients achieve success in the ever-changing digital world. If you’d like to learn more about VONT and the work we’ve done with our client partners, visit our Work page. Or, if you have a question, contact us. We’ll get right back to you!

Nicole Sacco
Written By

Nicole Sacco

Director of Digital Advertising