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How Apple’s iOS 14 Release May Affect Your Facebook Ads

We want to be sure that our clients are aware of upcoming Apple iOS14 changes that will impact Facebook / Instagram performance and measurement. We encourage you to talk with your digital agency partners or reach out to us directly and I would be happy to discuss.

Below is a summary of the iOS changes, potential impacts for advertisers, and ways to mitigate and measure the impact. The exact impact of the change is still very unclear, and there are many questions yet to be answered by Facebook and Apple but we hope you find this summary helpful.

Summary of iOS14 Changes

Apple has announced that sometime in January, iOS14 will be rolled out and with it comes significant changes to how apps can advertise to Apple users. The biggest of these is Facebook and Instagram. While the exact impact is hard to gauge at this point, it will limit Facebook’s ability to target and measure ads.

Quick Facts:

  • Apple announced that in January 2021 three new policies will go into effect:
    • Data Nutrition Label: All apps must submit info on their data tracking
    • Tracking Transparency Prompt: All apps must ask users for permission to track them across apps and websites through 3rd party pixels

 

      • New Tracking API: Facebook and all apps will need to use a new framework that restricts, aggregates and delays reporting
  • For more information, you can refer to Facebook Business Help Center. 

Additional Notes:

For users opting out of Apple’s tracking prompt, Facebook will limit data use:

(Source: Facebook Webinar)

Here is an example of a user flow with IDFA tracking BLOCKED. This will limit / remove app to web conversion data. However, we do expect Facebook to attempt to lean on alternate signals from their mobile web pixel and Conversion API to capture some of the conversion process:

Facebook predicts that:

 

Because of this, Facebook is no longer providing 28-day click attribution windows and will shift to a 7-day click attribution window.

Bottom Line: Facebook is going to become less targeted, more difficult to measure, and slower to pass data to agencies / brands.

Potential Impacts to Advertisers

A good first step is to understand the current % of Facebook / Instagram revenue from Apple devices. It is unclear what % of app users will opt out of tracking. We have heard estimates of 20% – 90%. Our best estimate is that it will be 50%-60%+.

These changes will:

  • Limit advertisers’ ability to quickly target site browsers in social (build and target retargeting audiences)
  • Make it more difficult to discern past purchasers from prospects
  • Limit the ability to make real-time decisions around shifting budget dollars as ad reporting will be delayed 24-72 hours
  • Reduce attribution accuracy
  • Limit custom audiences
  • Force a decline in mobile-heavy performance (e.g., Instagram Stories) or ability to measure

Mitigation and Measurement Strategies

We recommend working closely with your internal team or agency partners to plan for the change. We would recommend taking time to measure the impact once it’s implemented before making major changes. Some possible ways to mitigate the changes:

Marketing Strategy:

  • Implement alternative attribution solutions (e.g., Facebook Conversion API)
  • Greater emphasis on email capture on-site and to ensure email can be used for CRM
  • Shift re-marketing dollars to display (e.g., Criteo, Google Display Network)
  • Explore new channels – Pinterest, Connected TV, Contextual Display, Direct Mail

An integrated marketing mix across channels is critical!! We can help you plan for this if you are over-reliant in a single channel.

Facebook Campaigns Structure

  • Segment campaigns by device type to better understand mobile investment and performance
  • Diversify assets and continue to produce static content if DPA performance declines
  • Consider mobile placements as an upper-funnel plan rather than remarketing (e.g., If IG stories have a low CPM but high engagement, they may still be valuable to gain reach)

We hope this was a helpful overview, and we are here as a resource as we begin to digest the impact of these changes. If you want to learn more feel free to schedule a Free Consultation with us. 

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