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How will Apple’s IOS 14 update impact facebook advertising?

Consultant Daniel details what you need to know about Apple’s iOS 14 and how it’ll impact Facebook advertising…

You might have heard recent news stories floating around regarding Apple’s iOS 14 and how it’ll impact advertising on Facebook. We’ve written a summary on what the update is, its impact, and what can be done to minimise its impact.

What is the policy change?

In short, Apple’s iOS 14 policy will stop certain data collection and sharing unless people opt in to tracking via their iOS 14 device. The prompt to opt-in will be explicit in the App Store when people download apps that have tracking entities, essentially making users aware of what the app will track. See here for the main iOS 14 overview.

What are the key advertising features impacted by this change?

This will affect the extent of performance reporting for app and website conversion events, as it’s likely that people will be opting out of tracking.

  • When actions happen – Real-time reporting will not be supported and data may be delayed up to three days

  • Adset limitations – Each campaign is limited to five ad sets of the same optimisation type

  • Demographic reporting – Advertisers will still be able to target based on geographic and demographic segments, however, they will no longer be able to see a reporting breakdown by these factors (i.e. age, gender, region). This will impact campaign optimisation and wider targeting options

  • Retargeting impact – There might be reductions in lookalike audiences and remarketing sizes due to tracking changes

Not only could this hit programmatic, automated big scale campaigns but it could also impact small businesses’ ability to grow their audiences at an effective and efficient level.

What’s the wider context?

It’s important to recognise that privacy and data use is a wider topic than just iOS 14, with Google recently announcing that third party cookies will be disbanded for its ad networks and Google Chrome browsing (in an effort to reduce data retargeting). Essentially, Google will stop selling web ads that are targeted based on user browsing behaviour and it will also stop its cookies from collecting this data. Google aims to get around this limitation by targeting people into cohorts, rather than individually (based on behaviour via Google owned platforms). Here’s an overview of how Google will ‘adapt’ to privacy changes.

With the ability to measure conversions, optimise performance, and build audience segments expected to be a challenge under iOS 14, strategically leveraging email, subscription, and MPN data on Facebook will also become more valuable when running campaigns.

This can be leveraged by:

  • Loading customer lists – this will essentially be a database of people who have willingly provided information such as email, name, and location, that can be used for precise targeting

  • Develop “value exchange” strategies – you can incentivise customers to share their data

  • Lookalikes – once custom audiences are made you can create lookalike audiences, i.e. users most similar to your custom audiences

  • Trial iOS exclusions from ads – this can be used to examine the actual impact of serving ads to non-iOS users

These are the things you can do now to help ease the change:

  • Verify your website’s domain to help avoid any future disruption of your website campaigns. See steps here for how to verify your domain on Facebook Business Manager

  • Facebook will limit the number of website events per domain to eight. Therefore, you should configure eight preferred web conversion events per domain in Events Manager (this could include Add to basket, Checkout, Purchase). See steps here for how to configure your conversion events on Facebook (people will still need to opt-in to tracking for these website events to be triggered)

  • Pay a close eye to your reporting figures and examine its impact – the adoption of opt-ins may take some time to set-up and acknowledge that Android user tracking can still be used, which is often the bulk of an audience

Need some help navigating iOS14 changes? Get in touch.


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