What Will Apple’s iOS 14 Privacy Update Mean For Facebook Ad Campaigns?

Here’s what we know so far…

Apple recently announced changes to how it will allow apps to collect data using iOS 14 devices. This could be of particular significance to Facebook advertisers as users will soon be required to opt-in to agree to be tracked across apps and websites, such as Facebook, Instagram and the rest of the Facebook ads network. If a user opts out, Apple will prevent certain data to be collected and shared. 

Facebook has claimed that this: “may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future.” The overall impact, however, will be less significant for most advertisers, partially those who mainly advertise on Facebook and Instagram. That said there are still a number of things to be aware of if you currently advertising on Facebook or planning to in the future. 

This post should help you understand what the changes mean for you and your business and how you can be prepared in order to continue to get results across your Facebook ad campaigns

“This may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14 in the future”

Facebook

What Is The iOS 14 Update? 

Apple’s iOS 14 privacy policy will have a new requirement on how third-party apps collect data. Here are the main changes it is making: 

  • Apps must provide information about some of your app’s data collection practices on your product page. 
  • iOS apps will need to ask users for their permission to track them across apps and websites owned by other companies.

Why is Apple Making These Changes? 

Apple’s aim to improve the credibility of it’s App Store and to improve the trust of its users. They say: “The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users to discover apps created by talented developers around the world.” 

In short, Apple’s aim is to increase the standards of its app publishers across the App Store. This means better protection for its user and their personal data. 

How Could This Affect Advertisers? 

If you do not run conversion-focused campaigns there will be very little impact at all. Brand awareness campaigns should feel minimum disruption from these changes. 

Retargeting

One of the most obvious concerns for advertisers is around the potential impact these changes will have on retargeting ads. Tracking users behaviour on your website and apps may become more limited. Facebook says: “As more devices update to iOS 14, the size of your retargeting audiences may decrease”. This presents a significant challenge to advertisers who are reliant on retargeting customers across the Facebook ad network.

Limitations On Reporting and Data 

There is a strong possibility there could be limitations in your ability to segment some of your app and conversion data. There is likely to be stricter limitations on how you can break down performance data from your campaigns. 

Conversion Tracking Changes 

Facebook will be limiting events to 8 conversion events per domain. If you have a simple funnel this might not be a problem, however, if you do have multiple products with multiple conversion events this could become an issue when trying to accurately measure your and target your ads. 

Optimising Your Ads

As less data is likely to be available, including fewer conversion events, optimising your ads might become trickier, especially if you have a longer sales cycle or sell a number of different products. Bear in mind, however, if you are optimising for link clicks or actions which take place within Facebook the impact will be less significant than if you are optimising for conversion events.  

Custom Audience 

As users opt-out (or rather do not opt-in) to tracking on iOS 14 devices the overall size of your custom audience may drop.

Apple iOS14 Facebook Opt-In Pop Up

Conclusion and Recommendations 

Whilst this change is likely to impact most advertisers, it certainly does not spell the end of advertising on Facebook. 

The same principles will still apply when advertising on Facebook. The importance of a strong and relevant message with a strong focus on the quality of ads will be more important than ever. 

Diversifying media spend will become more important than ever, especially if the majority of your budget is currently spent on Facebook and Instagram. If that is the case, now might be a good time to think about Google, YouTube and the Google Display Network and how these channels can work for you. Google will be less affected by these changes, as Google Analytics currently adheres to Apple’s privacy policy. 

As well as diversifying ad channels, it’s also worth thinking about your other marketing channels. Continue to develop your owned media strategy. Building email lists and audiences on your social media channels to complement your paid media strategy. 

Further Actions You Can Take Now

  • Get your domain verified: Get your businesses domains verified by Facebook. Find out how to do this here
  • Start analysing your data: Begin understanding how much activity comes from iOS vs other devices by looking at your existing data. This will help you to understand the potential impact these changes are going to have 
  • Choose your conversion events: If you have more than 8 conversion events you can start preparing by deciding which events are the most important for you to track across your sales funnel
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About Rob Bluck

Rob is a growth marketing professional, with a BA Hons in Business Management & Marketing and a wealth of experience within B2B, eCommerce, SaaS and Technology sectors.