iOS 14 Ad Tracking: What Does it Mean for Your Facebook Ads Strategy?

By Kaitlyn Bernauer

5 min read

The latest Apple update includes more than new features to change the look of your iPhone. For advertisers, this rollout has some additional implications. The update, which comes with iOS 14.5, focuses on ad tracking permissions and giving iPhone users more control over their personal data.

This change has brought up some serious concerns for Facebook marketers. If you’ve been waiting to prepare for these updates, it’s time to get started. Apple announced that the release date for this update will happen the week of April 26, 2021. Here’s how you can prepare your Facebook advertising strategy for the iOS 14 ad tracking updates.

How Will iOS 14 Affect Your Facebook Ads?

Apple and Facebook have butted heads for years over their different approaches to data collection. Facebook argues that their targeting tools provide users with more personalized ads, offering both a better experience for users and a higher return on investment for small businesses. Apple, however, takes a far more conservative approach to data privacy by offering iOS users more information and control over how their user data is used. With this update, Apple has unveiled a new privacy-first ad network called SKADnetwork.

ios 14 changes to facebook ads

So, who exactly is impacted by these shifts, and what do they mean for you? While the Facebook platform has raised concerns over how this could hinder ad campaigns’ performance, the most significant changes will occur for those who use the following tools:

  • Retargeting
  • Lookalike audiences
  • Campaigns that use conversion events

Additionally, since this update impacts how Facebook understands actions on ads that leave the Facebook platform (i.e., anything that pushes them to your website), it may increase your cost per action.

Key Changes Coming to Facebook Ads

Facebook has modified the ways that Facebook Pixels track users to remain compliant with iOS updates. You may notice the following shifts.

  • Ads reporting: Facebook’s 28-day attribution will no longer be supported and will be replaced by a 7-day-view-through attribution.
  • Targeting: As more iOS users opt-out of tracking, custom and retargeted audiences may decrease in size.
  • Estimated results: Facebook will use models to estimate conversions coming from iOS 14 users. As a result, campaign optimization and result estimates may be skewed.
  • Conversion events: Your old conversion events will no longer work once the iOS 14 update goes into effect. Any ad campaigns that use conversions that haven’t been switched over will pause. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure the domain associated with your Pixel has been verified. More on that below!

What You Can Do to Prepare for the Changes

Facebook made some shifts on the platform to help advertisers continue to track their ad results. The following steps will allow you to continue to run conversion campaigns:

  • Verify your domain: If you’re using a Pixel for anything, you should verify your domain to prove ownership. Failure to complete this step can pause all of your conversion campaigns as well. If you already work with our team, you can email us at [email protected] for help completing this process!
  • Configure Aggregated Event Measurements: Next, you’ll want to set up the actions that you want to track in your ads. Each domain can prioritize a total of eight unique events or custom conversions.

how to prepare for ios 14 changes

If you use Pixel-tracked campaigns, custom audiences, or retarget your website visitors, these workarounds can help.

  • Use a form to gather user information for retargeting and use this information to generate a custom audience. This allows you to keep your user data within a more limited ecosystem, but you’ll need to have some sort of incentive for users to hand over their information.
  • Broaden your audience to capture more potential customers. Doing so can help counteract the lack of identifiers from web activity-generated audiences.

Ultimately, there are still many questions about how these updates will impact the bottom line for social media advertisers. It will likely take some time to see how many users opt-in to ad targeting and what new features Facebook will roll out to counteract their impact.

Have other questions on how the iOS 14 update may impact your advertising? Get in touch with the Front Porch Solutions team for information and assistance making sense of these changes.

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