Impact of Apple iOS 14 on Facebook Ads and How to Avoid It

Impact of Apple iOS 14 on Facebook Ads

In the year 2021, Apple came up with iOS 14, and since then it became a point of concern for digital advertisers for several reasons, especially for Facebook advertisers. IOS 14 came with an updated version of the privacy policy which had an impact on social media advertising platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tiktok, and other applications including ad-tech platforms.

In this article, we will discuss the update, how it had impacted Facebook ads and how Dignitas Digital found a crack through the issue. So, let us get into it.

What is the update all about?

In January 2021, the updated version of Apple iOS14 14.5 was released, and along came a disrupted functioning of Facebook ads. It affected businesses of all sizes from small-scale to middle-scale enterprises. The update primarily was focused on enhancing privacy and security concerns and consisted of two changes,

  • One is the pop-up that appeared when an app is downloaded by a user and is opened for the first time. The pop-up explicitly asked the users whether they wanted to allow Facebook to track their activities across other websites and apps. By clicking the option ‘Ask App Not To Track’, it disabled the app to send data to third-party trackers like the Facebook Pixel. Thus, it prevented Facebook to track the engagements, actions, and behaviors of the users. It meant that Facebook will now not be able to show personalized ads to users.
  • The second main change was that of the implementation of Cross-site Tracking Prevention. It is a default setting in the new update which restricted sharing data to third-party trackers. It means that by default Apple users will not be sharing their data with others.

Apple primarily did this for two main reasons. One, it impacted Apple’s relationship with other social media platforms which meant that it was revenue-driven. The other reason is that there was growing pressure on all big tech companies to look into the privacy issues of the users and the media had been vocal about it for quite some time.

Impact on Facebook ads due to the update?

Facebook primarily went for three major changes post iOS 14 update was implemented. They are,

Access limited to only 8 events per domain

The ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’ was introduced by Facebook so that it can check data loss, can support user privacy, and makes sure that the advertisers are able to run effective campaigns. An event is triggered when a lead performs some activity on the ad campaign page. Under Aggregated Event Measurement, only 8 conversion events can be tracked by the advertisers per domain.

7-day click and 1-day view attribution window

Earlier, Facebook supported attribution windows of 28-day click, 28-day view, and 7-day view, now there was a new attribution setting that supported 1-day click, 7-day click, 1-day click/1-day view, and 7-day click/1-day view (default) attribution windows.

Delayed reporting

Data can be delayed from 2 to 3 days. This is because the instant updating of metrics was no longer functional. Where earlier the conversion events for promotion campaigns of iOS 14 were updated at the instance of their occurrence, now the events depended on the time that was taken to report the data to Meta by the SKAdNetwork API.

How Dignitas overcame the limitations and resolved it

So, when Dignitas encountered such iOS 14 limitations while running Facebook ads with a conversion goal for its clients, it countered the issue with certain tricks. Here are the points that you need to follow if you want success with your Facebook ads.

Verifying domain(s)

It is critical for advertisers to verify their domains as Facebook prioritizes them. Facebook highly recommends domain validation if the domain involves the integration of pixels that belongs to multiple organizations or personal ad accounts. The verification demonstrates the connection between you and your business. It is primarily useful in detecting the eligible conversion events on the domain. Since advertisers are now limited to 8 events per domain, it is important to manually control the selection of the events.

Selecting the events important for the domain

If not manually done, Facebook automatically selects random 8 conversion events for a domain. The automatic selection is based on the recent campaigns carried out by all the accounts of that domain. The manual selection gives power to the advertisers to select the most beneficial events for the business. Manual selection can be done in the section Business Manager.

Choosing attribution window settings

Choosing the right settings for the attribution window for all new and existing ad campaigns is important. Earlier, where the attribution window was set at the account level, now it is set at the ad set level. The default setting is a 7-day click attribution window. You can utilize the feature of manually choosing the setting and the options given are,

  • one-day click,
  • seven-day click,
  • one-day click + one-day view, or
  • seven-day click + one-day view.

Internal data must be the preference

Relying more on Google Analytics or your CRM will give you better decision-making scenarios for Facebook since the visibility of visitors’ behavior on the back end is still available. Although Facebook has restricted to a maximum of 8 events, this visibility is a lot more helpful in knowing about the visitors. Also, internal data accuracy is now more desired as the restricted attribution window has made it difficult to link internal reporting to Facebook ad efforts.

Monitoring of audience size

Due to the tracking limitations set by Apple iOS 14 update, the size of the custom audience may decrease. Now, if the audience size is not satisfactory then you need to adjust remarketing campaigns and ad sets. For this, monitor the remarketing and custom list strategy and look into both spend and frequency. Where there is a possibility of diminishing audience size, spending less on these ads is a better option.

Installing the Facebook Conversions API

Since the iOS 14 privacy update has negatively impacted Facebook Pixel, the implementation of Facebook Conversions API is a necessary step. While the stress is more on privacy, installing this API would ensure the accurate tracking of conversions.

Conclusion

If you are wondering, whether these tricks really do work, then let us tell you how Dignitas benefitted from applying them. Once we have implemented all of Facebook’s recommendations, our data accuracy increased by the current year, Apple users received the correct conversion of day and time, and correct tracking recorded to optimize ad accounts, and it led to a positive impact on impressions, clicks, and conversions. Now, we can say that we have satisfied customers and all their concerns regarding ad campaign conversions are resolved.

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