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iOS 14 & Facebook – What Does This Mean for Marketers?

While understanding the ins-and-outs of the current digital marketing industry is a good thing, it is crucial to keep an eye out for upcoming changes as well to always be relevant. As digital marketers, we need to know how technology and processes are changing as well as how those adaptations will impact the future of our work. Otherwise, we will always be in a constant state of catching up with the platforms and competitors.

Recently, Apple had announced that iOS 14.5 would allow users to see the tracking capabilities of an app before they even install it on their iOS device. The update also includes an App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt, asking iOS users if they want to allow a certain app to track them outside of the app itself or not. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook specifically called out social media giant Facebook in a Tweet.

While all apps are affected by this update, Facebook is concerned about this rollout and how it will impact personalized advertising experiences going forward. It is expected that these changes on iOS devices will truly be felt between April and September of 2021 as more users gradually update to the new OS as well as purchase Apple devices with the new operating system pre-installed.

If you are a digital marketing professional, you need to understand why the iOS 14 update matters and how it will impact your Facebook ads going forward.

As digital marketers, we need to know how technology and processes are changing as well as how those adaptations will impact the future of our work.

How to Prepare as a Digital Marketer

  1. Expect to Be Limited to 8 Pixel Conversion events Per Domain As of writing, Facebook is now allowing advertisers to select their Pixel Events they want to track per domain. However, Facebook initially chooses 8 events for you based on the volume of conversions. If an iOS user chooses to opt-out of tracking on their device, Facebook is only allowed to track one event from the 8 selected, which will be the one set to the highest priority. (note that these events will not be linked to a user ID if a user chooses to opt-out, making them anonymous). In other words, rank your events accordingly.
  2. Prepare to See Less Demographic Breakdowns Due to the iOS 14 update and the option to opt-out of being tracked completely, know that demographic breakdowns are going to look less complete and accurate than they did before. Facebook plans on releasing full information about this later.
  3. No More 28 Day Click Attribution Due to these privacy updates, the 7-day click 1-day view on Facebook will replace the 28-day click attribution model. For those unfamiliar, the 7-day click 1-day view means that Facebook will focus on people who take action after seeing your ad within 7 days. Similarly, the 28-day click attribution allowed advertisers to see what actions occurred within 28 days of a user seeing an ad on FB.
  4. Be Sure to Verify Your Domain Facebook recommends that advertisers verify their domain. By doing this for your company, you will be able to have more control over the 8 conversion events that you would like to track.
  5. Update Your Software Development Kit Facebook is also changing its app-based advertising software development kit (SDK) to comply with Apple’s changes. If you either monetize or advertise apps on the platform, be sure to update your SDK to be prepared for the new update.
  6. More Changes to Come Because Facebook is making changes to their platform due to the new iOS update, it is only a matter of time until other social media sites and internet-related companies change their approaches to advertising and data collection as well. Keep in mind, too, that the biggest impact with this update from Facebook will be for app advertisers. We will have to wait and see how much non-app advertisers will be affected in the coming months.

If you are a digital marketing professional, you need to understand why the iOS 14 update matters and how it will impact your Facebook ads going forward.

Future

While it is expected that fewer conversions are going to be reported, there will be less events to set as a campaign objective, and less complete remarketing audiences are going to be the case due to this change, it is simply the name of the game due to the rules Apple put in place for Facebook. Although this means that advertising on iOS devices is going to become less effective as a result, we as digital marketers need to know about trends like this before they occur, especially since this is just the beginning of some major changes in data collection. By making sure that we know how to best approach these oncoming changes ahead of time, we can still create successful campaigns for clients and can continue to be relevant in the digital marketing industry.

About The Author

Jared Hanson has over 4 years of experience in digital marketing as both an account manager and paid ads/media specialist. He has spent several years with Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Advertising partner agencies developing their paid media teams, strategies, and providing hands-on growth for clients ranging from e-commerce, service, B2B, SaaS, and brick and mortar both domestically and internationally.

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