Facebook recently released updated guidelines on the upcoming iOS 14 changes and provided guidance on how these updates might impact both app and web advertising on the platform. 

Facebook has updated the current SDK to support Apple’s SkAdNetwork API and conversion value management to allow for app install measurement following iOS privacy changes to IDFA Opt-In. They will also require all publishers to use an updated SDK in order to monetize the audience network with iOS 14.
 

Why is Facebook updating guidelines for iOS 14?

 
With Apple’s update to limited ad tracking (LAT), Facebook needed to respond with a workaround for advertisers who rely on targeting Apple-users as part of their campaigns. While Facebook is updating their products to accommodate the iOS 14 updates, they aren’t doing so quietly, taking out full-page newspaper ads addressing their concerns. 

“We disagree with Apple’s approach and solution, yet we have no choice but to show the prompt. As such we will continue to use Apple’s device identifier for advertising (IDFA). If we don’t, we believe they will block Facebook and other apps from the App Store which may further harm the businesses and users that rely on our services. We cannot take this risk on behalf of the millions of businesses that use our platform to grow,” Facebook said in their statement.

 

How will iOS 14 impact Facebook advertisers?

 
While this will primarily impact app advertisers, the effects will be far reaching for those who invest in Facebook advertising.
 

[UPDATE] Facebook discloses impact and next steps in their post-IDFA ecosystem

 
With Apple’s latest iOS update as of Q3 2021, Facebook released data showing the impact on iOS-optimized web campaigns after the April updates to IDFA. They estimate that there is roughly a 15% discrepancy in aggregated conversions that are underreported within the platform for these campaigns, even though that number varies based on the individual advertiser and verticals.

The release also outlined some tips and best practices for mitigating the impact of these conversion losses as a result of the data discrepancies, including analyzing performance at the campaign level as opposed to the creative level and adoption of their Conversions API (CAPI) to regain data from signal loss.

They also include next steps for work that is being done on the Facebook side with regards to future limitations including improved conversion modeling, measurement and communication and actions after platform bugs are discovered.

Below are a few of the areas in which advertisers will need to update their Facebook campaigns. The full list can be found on Facebook’s developers site.

1. Campaign Set Up

– Limit on running campaigns with iOS 14 users – Partners limited to 1 Ad Account per app for app install ads to iOS 14 users

– For any app campaigns running to Apple users after the rollout, they will be required to launch updated campaigns

– Campaigns will need to be standalone for Mobile App Installs for iOS 14 users and there will be a limit of 9 active campaigns per app and 5 ad sets per campaign of the same optimization type

– Advertisers will be limited to the use of 8 conversion events per domain. Event selection will be done in Events Manager beginning early 2021. Ad sets optimizing for an event beyond the 8 that are prioritized will be pause. The 8 conversion events per domain will be ranked based on priority. If multiple events are completed by a user (i.e. “add to cart” and “purchase”) only the higher prioritized event will be reported and App event optimization will support all 14 standard app events.

2. Optimization 

– Facebook will support the ability to run app install campaigns with Event Optimization for Automated App Ads

– MAI & Event Optimization will continue. The Value Optimization is expected a few weeks after Apple’s Privacy Changes. VO will transition from Ads Manager to Events Manager and value set will need to be enabled. If you have previously used VO, value sets will be automatically assigned based on historical data and turned on in Events Manager.

3. Measurement

– Facebook will be sunsetting both 28-day lookback windows as well as it’s 7-day view window. Historic.

– Facebook will introduce Aggregated Event Measurement to support measurement of web events from iOS 14 users once Apple requires the ATT prompt. It is designed to help you measure campaign performance in a way that is consistent with consumers’ decisions about their data. All data for these windows will remain accessible via the Ads Insights API. 

– The SkAdNetwork has its own attribution, so none of the standard breakdowns will be available. There will also be a delay in metric report via the SkAdNetwork.

– Reporting will now be at the Campaign Level only so Ad Level & Ad Set data will be modeled. This means no more breakdowns (Age, gender, regional, placement, etc.) for app install or post-install metrics.

– Facebook is warning brands might see decreases in performance and audience size for retargeting efforts, but that prospecting efforts like lookalikes and Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences will see minimal impact.
 

Next steps for advertisers and brands

 
If you believe your ad campaigns have seen an impact for the reporting discrepancy, work with your agency or media team to identify areas for potential scale to help counteract the loss. As the full impact of the updates play out, there might be an opportunity to diversify strategy across Facebook or other social media platforms to make up for any potential losses in volume. 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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