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iOS 14 & Facebook Ads: Adapting Your Paid Social Strategy

Recently, Facebook announced changes in relation to the rollout of Apple’s iOS 14 platform that will affect how data is tracked for each app present on Apple devices. Users will now be prompted by both Apple and Facebook to “opt-in” to provide permission to apps like Facebook to have their data tracked, in this case, for advertising purposes.

This is very similar to what has already happened to websites as a result of the GDPR in the EU and the California Privacy Protection Act.

Ultimately, this will limit the data that we have access to and use to optimize campaigns on Facebook ads in several ways. The following are some of the changes we are seeing and how we plan on adapting your paid social strategy to fit these changes.

Challenges in Optimization

Targeting

First, the audiences we use for targeting on our paid social campaigns may not be as clear cut or as large as they have been up to this point. This includes not only the interest audiences we use to prospect for new, relevant customers but also remarketing and lookalike audiences as users will have opted out of the cookie that is applied when they visit a website or take similar actions to current customers.

Tracking

This change will also affect the way users are tracked as they leave the Facebook app and enter a website to make a purchase. While Apple has its own tools to address this, Facebook has decided to develop its own solution called Aggregated Event Measurement which will limit the transmission of user data but allow tracking for certain events from app to website.

Domain Changes

Facebook will also be making changes to its Business Tools including limiting the number of pixels and events per domain. Each domain will be required to have 8 or fewer events that are tracked and optimized for in the FB ads platform. This requirement is global and includes domains that may have a presence in other countries.

For example: if bobsbakery.com also has addresses like bobsbakery.uk and bobsbakery.ca, this will be viewed as a single domain by Facebook, and only up to 8 events will be allowed to be selected.

What do we do to address these changes?

  1. 1. Verify your domain – we will need to work through Facebook’s verification process to have your domain verified. This will require website access and potential developer assistance but is a simple process.
  2. 2. Identify 8 tracked events that mean the most to your business.
  3. 3. Monitor audiences and performance by the campaign to identify the impact of change.
  4. 4. Keep track of additional updates and rollouts from the Facebook Ads team to stay ahead of any further changes.

Final Thoughts

The reason for these changes is in response to heightened privacy concerns from consumers when it comes to data collectors such as Facebook and other applications. It has also been rumored that Apple is planning to roll out its own advertising platform in the near future that will include a search engine and social network.

Please keep in mind that this will only affect data from Apple users only and does not affect Android yet, though Apple currently holds a market share of just over 50% of smartphone users in the US as of July 2020 according to StatCounter.

As your Agency it is MBT’s responsibility to keep you informed and make recommendations that will benefit your business. We will continue to do this as Facebook and Apple roll out additional updates on these changes.