Imanol González

Imanol González

Data & CRO Consultant

How does iOS 14 affect my business on Facebook

24 de February de 2021
2 minutos

The rapid evolution and growth of digital ad ecosystems have led platforms to make changes to both consumer and business needs.

What does the new iOS 14 policy imply?

To understand how Facebook advertising will be affected, you need to understand exactly what will change with the iOS 14 update.

Nutrition Label

The data nutrition label will require all apps to submit how their app collects and uses their users’ data. App owners and developers will need to upload this disclosure clause to Apple’s App Store Connect.

Tracking transparency notices

All applications using the Apple App Store are required by the new policy to ask users for permission to track their data on third-party applications and websites. The tracking transparency notice will appear to the user and will give them the ability to accept or decline the tracking of their data, as shown below.

Tracking via App / Browser APIs

Facebook and other platforms will now have to use a new framework that imposes restrictions and could delay the notification of events. Previously instant reporting for app conversion campaigns could now be delayed up to three days with the newly adopted SKAdNetwork API (SKAN API).

 

What is Facebook doing to mitigate these changes?

Adherence to the new ad guidelines

Previously, the Facebook platform used transparency features for ads, such as a «Why am I seeing this?» Button, an option to hide the ad, and a switch to disable Facebook activity. Users will now be asked to decide whether they agree to their data being collected or not.

Continued collection of device identifiers

For those users who opt for Apple’s transparency notice, the device identifiers will be collected. Before the upgrade, device IDs were collected from all users.

Application-based trading tools

Facebook will continue to support app-based business tools for Apple’s limited metering solution, the SKAN API, for mobile apps.

Aggregate Event Management (AEM)

For advertisers using web-based business tools, Facebook will limit the measurement of some events for iOS 14 users through the new data sharing protocol. This new AEM system will change the way advertisers track conversions.

 

Limitations on the platform

Ad creation

For starters, the auction bid is now the only purchase option available when creating device ads on iOS14. Therefore, the scope and frequency bids are no longer available.

Reports

  • The new iOS 14 update will limit advertisers’ ability to measure campaign performance on Facebook. Previous real-time reports will no longer be supported, and businesses could see a data lag of up to three days. Statistical models can be used to track conversions for iOS 14 users.
  • Delivery and stock breakdowns, including age, gender, region, and location, will not be supported.
  • Attribution windows will be set at the ad set level, rather than the account level, and will be limited to a seven-day click and one-day view window.

Targeting

The size of audiences on the app and on the web will decrease as more people choose not to track on iOS 14 devices. This means that audiences may need to be expanded to capture the attention of potential customers.

 

Changes and next steps for web advertisers

Facebook Aggregate Event Management (AEM)

Facebook will implement Aggregate Event Management (AEM) to meet Apple’s requirement. This will not resolve all the impacts of Apple’s protocol and advertisers will continue to lose functionality with these changes, but it is your best option under the circumstances. AEM limits the transmission of user data while still supporting critical use cases for advertisers. Facebook hasn’t provided many details about AEM yet, but we’ll keep you posted as the information continues to emerge.

Limitation of 8 events

Your pixel can only track and optimize a maximum of eight conversion events for each domain. Facebook will initially configure the conversion events that it deems most relevant to your business. The rest of the events will be inactive for the optimization of the campaign and the elaboration of reports. You will be able to manage your event priority preferences in the Event Manager.

To accommodate this new system, Facebook recommends setting up your eight conversion events to track the prospect at key points on their buying journey. For example, if a customer visits your website, adds items to their cart, but does not make the purchase, you will want a conversion event for both the «Add to cart» and the «Buy» events. Without the «Add to Cart» event, that customer’s data will not be tracked unless they complete a purchase on the first click of the ad.

You may need to consider changes to your campaign measurement strategy. It may be necessary to optimize the events in the top funnel (visits to the landing page, clicks on links, etc.).

Attribution and conversion windows

Due to the limitations of the view-through signal, the default attribution setting for new campaigns after the ad application will be set to seven days of clicks and one day of views. Facebook will no longer be able to support 28-day click conversion windows, 28-day views, and seven-day views. In situations where limited data is available from iOS 14 users, statistical modeling will be used for certain attribution windows. There will be an annotation on the product to communicate when a metric is modeled.

Conversion event breakdown

Advertisers have already been able to break down conversion actions to better understand consumer behavior. By accepting Apple’s request, Facebook will no longer be able to display breakdowns of reported conversions. This includes breakdowns of deliveries and stocks, such as age, gender, religion, and location.

Dynamic Ads

For dynamic ads, it’s important to ensure that your catalog only uses one tracking pixel. The pixel will also only be able to report and optimize a maximum of eight conversions. All other conversions will be inactive for optimization and reporting.

Changes and next steps for app advertisers

Lastly, let’s review the changes and next steps regarding app advertisers.

Limited attribution

Conversion data shared through app business tools can be restricted, aggregated, and delayed by SKAN’s API. As for attribution windows for app install campaigns, Apple’s SKAN API will determine those windows. This change is expected to occur in mid-to-late January 2021. Initially, Facebook will default to a seven-day click attribution and one-day views setting. The new default attribution settings may lead to a decrease in the number of reported conversions.

Limitations in campaign management

If you plan to run app install campaigns, you will need to ensure that your app is associated with a single ad account. However, an ad account can host multiple applications. With the new iOS 14 update, you will only be able to run a maximum of nine campaigns at a time. Each of these campaigns must contain no more than five ad sets per campaign and the auction will be the only purchase type available. Once your campaign is published, you will not be able to toggle the iOS 14 campaign switch on or off. You will need to disable or delete your campaign.

Demographic reports

Demographic breakdowns for conversion events will no longer be available.

Reports

Real-time reporting will not be supported and data can be delayed for up to three days. For iOS 14 app install campaigns, conversion events will be reported based on when the SKAN API communicates them to Facebook. The results will be aggregated at the campaign level and statistical models can be used to account for the results at the ad set level.

 

Recommendations from Making Science

  • Prepare for post-press attribution data to disappear. Download your historical data for both windows (28 and 7 days) and also for 28-day clicks. Compare 28-day click conversions to 7-day click conversions to understand how your reported conversions will be affected if you currently use that 28-day window.
  • If you use automatic rules with a custom attribution, remember to review them just in case and adapt them to the new attribution. Remember that it disappears: 28 days post click, 20 days post view and 7 days post view.
  • Review the campaign structure and current audiences.
  • The events chosen for the measurement can be modified later, but then it is necessary to wait three days to see the data again, so it is better to make sure to choose the ones we really want from the beginning, whenever this is possible.

If you want to be up to date with the news about iOS 14 in relation to Facebook, don’t miss our articles on the Making Science blog. And if you have questions about how this change will affect your campaigns, write to us at info@makingscience.com