iOS 14.5 will have major impacts on Facebook advertising, and not just for iOS users. Once iOS 14.5 roles out Apple users will have the ability to opt-out of tracking from apps on their iPhone and iPad – which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. In this blog, I’m going to breakdown some of the largest changes to Facebook advertising and how these will affect your advertising moving forward.
Ranking 8 events & domain verification
Facebook is reducing the number of events a website can track due to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy. These events include purchases, add to carts, add payment information, newsletter sign-ups, etc. This is an enormous reduction because there were believe it or not over 60 different events you could track on a website. Now, you have 8. Best of luck!
For customers who choose to opt-out for tracking Facebook will let you track a single event (although delayed, but more on that later) that you deem the most important. This means you need to rank the 8 events you choose to optimize for from most important to least important. For example, if you choose ‘purchase’ as your website’s most important event any iOS user who has opted out of tracking that purchase from your website will trigger the purchase event, but no other event on your website. Meaning, page views, add to cart, payment information, and any other event that the customer triggers will not be tracked within Facebook.
Another interesting example is someone who signs up for your newsletter and then adds an item to their cart but doesn’t purchase. Facebook will only track the event that you prioritize over the other. Meaning, if an add to cart is more important to you than a newsletter sign up Facebook will not track the newsletter sign-up, even though the customer triggered that event. That… is not good.
It is critical that you set up your event rankings because if you don’t none of your events will be tracked by Facebook! How does one set this up? First, you must verify your domain with Facebook.
Custom audiences & retargeting
Custom audiences will shrink depending on how much of your audience is using iOS and how many of those folks choose to opt-out. There is no telling how much your audiences’ sizes will shrink, but It’s safe to assume that it will not be a small dip.
Retargeting will change substantially due to the number of people opting out of retargeting. This will likely lead to more expensive advertising since you will have a smaller pool of people to retarget.
7 day click conversion & delayed results
Another large change coming from this iOS update is Facebook’s conversion windows. This change is already in place. You used to set up conversion windows 1, 7, and 28-day views and clicks which would enable your ads to attribute conversions to an ad being clicked on or viewed up to 28 days before the conversion. That is all gone now, and Facebook has now set conversion windows to a 7-day click. This again will affect advertisers because Facebook’s algorithm will shift dramatically due to an increase in cost per conversion.
Lastly, when results are tracked from folks who opt-out they will be delayed up to three days! This is huge because of the notorious “learning phase” from Facebook. The beginning of a campaign is curial to its long-term success and if results are delayed this will have a large impact on whom Facebook sends your ads to.
Apple’s iOS update and ATT policies will have sweeping impacts on advertisers everywhere. In my opinion, the largest impact will be on ecommerce sites and especially for national brands. Local businesses that may not have large enough audiences for retargeting may not see as large of an impact, but the changes will still be noticeable. It’s imperative that you verify your domain within Facebook if you’re running any sort of advertising on Facebook. Best of luck and happy advertising!
Beau Baumbach is the Marketing and Social Media Strategist for TIV Branding
TIV Branding is a boutique branding firm in Sonoma County, California. We specialize in building brands by using traditional, social, and digital channels in unison. If you would like to discuss a project or find out more about how we do what we do, please email us at info@TIVbranding.com.