If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably been inundated with updates surrounding Apple’s iOS14 release and how the latest iOS update will change the way digital advertising is planned, set-up, and ultimately tracked and reported on.
When it comes to Facebook’s ad platform specifically, the changes Apple announced with the release of iOS14 will impact how we receive and process conversion events from tools like the Facebook pixel. Businesses that advertise leveraging mobile apps, as well as those that optimize, target, and report on web conversion events from any of our business tools will be affected.
Apple will begin to require that apps in the App Store that engage in what Apple defines as tracking will show a prompt to iOS14 users, requiring them to opt-in or opt-out of an application tracking their data. If an iOS 14 user opts-out using Apple’s tracking prompt, conversion events will be restricted, aggregated, and delayed. As more people opt out of tracking on iOS14 devices, ads personalization and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.
This will provide users with more control over their data privacy but as a result will lead to less personalized ads and an inconsistent funnel journey. These changes will reduce visibility into key Facebook advertising metrics that show how ads drive conversions, like app installs and sales.
How to Change Your Facebook/Instagram Ad Campaigns for iOS14
Below is the most important information to be aware of as you start navigating changes with your Facebook/Instagram ad campaign.
Verify your website domain in Facebook’s Business Manager.
Domain Verification provides a way for you to claim ownership of your domain in Business Manager. This ownership allows you as well as agencies pushing your ads to control editing privileges of your links and other content to prevent misuse of your domain and to keep bad actors from spreading misinformation. For more information on the full domain verification process, refer to the instructions from Facebook for Business’ FAQ section.
Understand iOS 14 Targeting Limitations
As more users opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, the size of your app connections, app activity and website custom audiences may decrease. This can apply to retargeting audiences as well. Brands will want to monitor and know this, especially if they ran a previous campaign where the same audience is being utilized and could potentially be impacted.
Set-up Measurement Limitations in Your Facebook Ad Campaign
- Moving forward, the Facebook pixel designated for your campaign will only be able to track 8 preferred web conversions or site events per click-through URL for campaign optimization. Make sure your media partner calls this out at campaign set-up just in case they need to advise you on what your 8 site events should be in the event you had more in mind to track.
- While not usable for optimization, events not configured as one of the 8 conversion events for a domain can still be used for partial reporting in Ads Manager and website Custom Audience targeting.
- For app campaigns, you can only associate your app with a single ad account. However, you can use the same ad account to advertise for multiple apps.
- Each app is limited to 9 iOS 14 campaigns at once. Each campaign is limited to 5 ad sets of the same optimization type. You can’t vary your optimization choice across ad sets in the same campaign.
Facebook Campaign Reporting Limitations
Real-time reporting will no longer be available, and data may be delayed up to three days. For iOS 14 app install campaigns, conversion events will be reported based on the time that they are reported to Facebook and not the time they occur. Web conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of the associated ad impressions.
For app install campaigns, reporting will be aggregated at the campaign level. Statistical modeling may be used to account for results at the ad set and ad levels, unless the campaign is composed of a single ad set and ad. For web conversion events, statistical modeling may be used to account for conversions from iOS 14 users.
No support for breakdowns in Ads Manager
For both app and web conversions, delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, region, and placement will no longer be supported in Facebook’s Ads Manager.
Changes to account attribution window settings
Once Apple enforces their iOS 14 requirements the attribution window for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at the ad set level, rather than at the account level. Additionally, the default for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at a 7-day click attribution window. Going forward, 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported for active campaigns. However, historical campaigns will still report using the legacy account level attribution window, and historical data for the attribution windows that are no longer supported will continue to be available in the platform. Please note that the subsequent default change to 7-day click will only apply to ad sets created after the default change; there will be no impact to reporting and optimization of ad sets that began before the change.
About the Author
Stefanie Sena is Director of Digital Operations and Account Management at MNI Targeted Media Inc. has more than ten years of experience in the digital media industry, working with clients to analyze their current digital strategies and execute campaigns to further their digital initiatives. Her experience spans numerous aspects of digital media, including display, mobile, programmatic, search, and social.
She has a particular focus on and passion for digital analytics and measurement, leading a team that provides advanced reporting to clients, including utilizing metrics that go beyond the click and further uncover insights into an advertiser’s audience.