Facebook iOS 14 updates: what we’ve learnt in the past 6 weeks.

It’s been almost 6 weeks since Facebook introduced Apple’s iOs 14 changes, affecting the advertising platform and event tracking (i.e. Add to Carts). It’s been a steep learning curve for us as advertisers, and so we thought it was about time we shared our learnings post the Apple-Facebook split (Not the Australia-Facebook breakup – that relationship has been salvaged, thank god.)

And for those of you thinking “This is the first I’m hearing about this…” we will start with a breakdown on what on earth it all means. 

June 2020

Amidst the chaos of COVID-19, Apple announced that the new iOS 14 iPhone operating systems would now prompt users on whether they were willing to allow apps to track their personal usage. 

In a nutshell, any iOS 14 iPhone user has to now ‘opt in’ to allow tracking as they use their device’s applications. Called App Tracking Transparency, the new requirement changes how mobile app developers (Think: The Iconic, Afterpay, My Fitness Pal – any of your daily apps!) collects data and then shares it with other firms – such as Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest. 

For users, this means you no longer have to dig through your settings to disable tracking and can make the decision for yourself regarding what data you want to share. (We personally don’t mind seeing ads suited to our wants and needs, but hey, maybe we’re a little bias 😉)

For advertisers, this means that the way we run targeted advertising, particularly for eCommerce businesses is going to change. As an example, if you are a clothing brand that relies on your app to retarget users with tactical advertising based on their buying behaviour, you will now only be able to do this for mobile app users that have opted in to allow tracking. 

Don’t panic. It doesn’t mean the end of Facebook advertising as we know it. The immediate implications of the changes are pretty simple for advertisers to understand and we’ve found that having transparent conversations with clients on this topic has further solidified us as trusted marketing partners. (if you’re an agency, get on the front-foot with your customers ASAP). 

Understanding the changes – what does it all mean!!

  1. Expect and prepare for a change in reporting. Prior to the changes Facebook worked on a 7 day click and 28 day view attribution window. This means that Facebook would attribute a conversion 7 days after someone had clicked or 28 days after someone had viewed your ad. This is now a 1 day click and 7 day view attribution period.
  2. Expect and prepare for less conversions to be attributed to your ads. Any tracked events such as ‘Purchases’ that were captured with a Facebook Pixel may now be under-reported given people are opting out of tracking. 
  3. There will be changes to Ad Optimisation or how you choose to set up your campaigns. We’ve had it pretty good with Facebook so far, being able to run campaigns that will find customers that will purchase your product or submit a lead form on your website. It is vital that you set up Aggregated Event Measurement and select your most valuable conversion – more of this to be covered under ‘Steps you should take’.
  4. There will be changes to your Audience targeting, specifically Custom Audiences. For those that don’t know, Custom Audiences are neat audience groups based on actions taken on your website that allow advertisers to do some pretty cool targeted campaigns. These groups are likely to get smaller now they exclude those that opt out of tracking. 

When digesting these changes remember that this only affects iOS users – not desktop, Android or those that opt in to be tracked. 

Steps you should take – right now, run and do it, if you can

If you read one section from this article, let it be this. 

  1. Domain Verification – a.k.a authorise your Ad Account to send traffic to your URL. Not as complicated as it sounds. Get in touch with us if you need help with this step. 
  2. After Step 1, select which Conversion Events you will use if you have more than 8 AND order them based on priority. The most important priority event is your FIRST event, because if they opt out of tracking, Facebook will only be able to access this one, single event. Very important. *You can update this later as your business requirements change. 
  3. Take a look at your current data, how much of it comes from iOS users? This will enable you to pave a strategy forward. It’s a simple filter available in Ads Manager or Ads Reporting.
  4. Adjust any current campaigns that might be affected.
  5. Throw the towel in and reach out to an expert. 🤷‍♀️

Our learnings and some friendly advice – we got you

  1. Facebook Lead Ads seem to be unaffected. Hurrah! As the Facebook Lead Generation objective works on using an in-Facebook form to capture data there are no concerns around pixel tracking and no need to worry about the attribution windows as the lead is converted then and there. 
  2. We still don’t know so much. There are still so many non-iOS 14 users. We don’t know how many people will opt out for tracking. We don’t know when we’ll start to see the prompt appear. We don’t have enough quantifiable data to come to solid conclusions – yet.

*Ok, I’ll stop yelling in caps in now.

While F+S continue to navigate through the changes, we will endeavour to update you with what you need to know, when you need to know it.

If you have further questions or need help digesting whatever it was you just read, flick me an email – charlotte@findandseekdigtal.com.au.