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Apple iOS 14 Update & How It Will Affect Your Facebook Ads

You might have seen some mention online to the Apple iOS 14 update, along with the news that this might affect your Facebook ads. This is certainly a significant update, and if you use Facebook ads you should be aware of it and what it means for your ads.

Apple have announced changes with iOS 14 that will impact the way Facebook is able to utilise its Facebook pixel. Apple is requiring that all apps in the App Store show a prompt to its users on iOS devices that will ask the user for permission for the app to track them outside the platform.

This will directly impact Facebook’s pixel and its ability to receive and process conversion events. So this means any businesses that target web conversion events, or that advertise mobile apps are going to be affected.

If you’re using Facebook ads correctly, you’ll have conversion tracking, remarketing, lookalike audiences etc, and these all rely on the effectiveness of the Facebook pixel. If users opt out with Apple’s prompt, this will mean the Facebook pixel is useless for that user. It will result in inaccurate reporting for your conversions, it will be weakened remarketing campaigns, less targeting options, less reliable lookalike audiences. This will all mean more wasted spend, less effective ads, less personalisation of ad copy, a lower ROI.

If Facebook cannot track user behaviour, the effectiveness of their product (Facebook Ads) is going to go down. Facebook are obviously very worried, this has the potential to be really detrimental to their revenue. They have prepared a help section here:

Facebook will be implementing Aggregated Event Management to comply with Apple’s prompt. There isn’t a lot of details on this yet, but it will limit the transmission of user data while supporting advertiser use cases. Your pixel may only track and optimise for a maximum of 8 conversion events for each domain. The default attribution setting will be changed to seven day click and one day view and Facebook will no longer show breakdowns for reported conversions (this includes action breakdowns such as age, gender, placement etc).

There are workaround strategies you can be working on, within your Facebook Ads and within other aspects of digital marketing. You can:

· Get control of your user data, your email lists, SMS lists and current customer database

· Exclude iOS from your conversion event campaigns

· Use other campaign types e.g. lead generation, awareness etc

· Utilise other areas of digital marketing

There isn’t an awful lot of information at the moment, and no one knows for sure how this will go, and how Facebook will adapt - but if you’re currently using Facebook Ads this is a development you should be keeping a very, very close eye on.


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