Everything you need to know about the Facebook iOS update

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If you are marketing on Facebook, then we can assure you that the new iOS14 update will affect you. This new update is different from previous interface updates that Apple rolls out, as this one introduces new measures surrounding the privacy of their app users. More specifically, this changes how its users are tracked by publishers. 

What is the iOS update?

So what exactly is the new iOS update about? In Apple’s own words: 

Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.” 

The aim of this is to improve transparency of tracking by allowing users to choose to opt out of tracking within their apps, as well as across all of Apple products. They have altered how app developers are able to access the IDFA or ‘Identifier for Advertisers’. This important identifier is what allows personal content to be targeted and delivered. 

The change from this is that previously the majority of users and developers were opting out if they didn’t want tracking of their IDFA, but now users have to opt-IN for an app to acquire their IDFA. Ultimately there will be less IDFAs that Facebook, Instagram and other advertising tools can access.

The prompts look something like this:

Source: Apple

Previously, approximately 70% of iOS users shared their data with publishers, but after this update the number sits between only 10-15%. Think of it like the cookie pop-ups that came into effect a couple of years ago to meet the new GDPR requirements. 

How does this affect in-app advertising?

On top of this iOS update, Apple is also committed to the privacy of users who install apps from the app store and has also installed the SKAdNetwork API. This will delay or restrict app event data on iOS14 devices. 

These updates include a 3 day delay to event reporting after a user installs apps. Facebook Ads accounts will also be limited to nine campaigns and five ad sets for each campaign. 

How does this affect Facebook advertising?

This will now create a ripple effect for advertising all round. Firstly, the Facebook Pixel will now be less effective with limited tracking ability which undoubtedly affects features such as remarketing campaigns and conversion tracking. 

You will also find it more difficult to speak to your target audience with social media marketing more effectively, as targeting is weakened. Your ad copy cannot be as personalised as you are speaking to a more broad audience now. 

Because of less options for targeting, less personable marketing, and less efficient remarketing campaigns, you may have to navigate through more wasted spend on your ads. 

This relates to Facebook advertising in a BIG way as the entire platform is essentially built around tracking and targeting users based on their actions and interests. Without this data collection that many marketers rely on, the impact of these Facebook ads will change. This is not the end of Facebook advertising by any means, but marketers will have to adapt their strategies to get the most out of your ad campaigns. 

Pixel Changes

There will be changes to the pixel where you will only be able to prioritise the top eight most important events for your audience per domain. This only affects campaign optimisation and you will be able to still track more than eight events for reporting purposes. To decide which eight custom or standard events to optimize, decide which events will give you the most valuable data that your business needs. This could be direct sales or lead generations. It’s good to note that landing page views are not counted in the cap, therefore other objectives more upper-funnel such as link clicks or views can be prioritised. As well, if you use value optimization for your events, add more value sets where possible. You can add up to eight event slots in this value configuration and doing this will help to improve the accuracy of return on ad spend (ROAS). 

How to plan for iOS14

Facebook unsurprisingly has plans in place to prepare for the changes of Apples new policy, such as the Aggregated Event Measurement tool where you are able to manually order the priority of your events. 

If you haven’t already, you should have your domains verified so that in Business Manager you can officially claim the ownership of your domain. With your domain verified, you will be able to edit your links as well as other content. To verify your domain, you can either add a DNS TXT entry to your DNS record, upload an HTML file provided by Facebook to your web directory, or add a meta tag to the <head> section of your domain home page. The Facebook for Developers website goes into this in more detail. 

First party data is now king. You will need to reevaluate the way you build your audiences, and reconsider your custom audience strategy. Reflect on how your business collects your audience data as well as how you reach them. For example, if you acquire email addresses or run lead generation campaigns, you can still use these audiences for custom and lookalike audiences. 

While this is a big change for advertisers, we will have to adapt to the rollout. Firstly you need to understand how iOS14 affects you, and take the above steps to minimise its impacts on your campaigns. As well, try more testing without the Facebook pixel and gather up more first-party data. 

Are you struggling with adapting to these changes? Oddball Marketing is well versed in navigating these changing requirements. If you need help with your social media marketing, contact us today.

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