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A Guide to the iOS 14 Update: What It Means for Your Business

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Big Changes Are Coming

It can be hard to catch your breath in the digital world. Just as you got settled in, Facebook announced big changes for their platform with the impending iOS 14 update. These changes can seem daunting for any marketer — but we eat digital for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and we’re more than happy to share what we’ve discovered with the new iOS 14 update so you can prepare!

iOS 14 Update — What’s Changing?

Apple’s iOS 14 update may affect tracking and conversion reporting in ad campaigns for many advertisers. The iOS 14 update is going to shake up the way Facebook reports on attribution; it’s possible that advertisers will see underreported conversions. We’ll go over what’s changing and provide you with some crucial action items that will minimize negative impacts on your accounts.

With the iOS 14 update, Apple has made changes to the way Facebook receives and processes conversion events from tools like the Facebook pixel. According to Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework, apps that track user data will be required to display a prompt to iOS 14 users (more details on that can be found here).

Unless people opt in to tracking on iOS 14 updated devices via the prompt, Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing. Ad personalization and performance reporting for both app and web conversion events will be limited as more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 updated devices.

Aggregated Event Measurement

With the iOS 14 update, Facebook will begin using Aggregated Event Measurement to process pixel conversion events. Aggregated Event Measurement allows Facebook to track conversions for opted-out iOS 14 users while still respecting their privacy. Advertisers will be able to send up to eight separate pixel events or conversions from a single website domain via the Facebook pixel and rank them according to priority with aggregated event measurement. Only the highest priority event or conversion will be sent if a user performs several actions within a conversion window.

Conversion Events

After the iOS 14 update, your pixel will only optimize for a maximum of eight conversion events for each domain. Facebook suggests that you classify the eight conversion events that are most relevant to key business results and evaluate whether your campaign or measurement plan needs to be adjusted. These might include things like purchases, landing page views, lead form submissions, or any custom conversions you have set up for your domain.

Facebook will set up the conversion events they believe are most relevant to your business, but you will be able to update these yourself in Business Manager. Only one of the eight conversion events will be optimized when you create your ad set.

Ad sets that were optimizing for a pixel conversion event that is no longer available after the iOS 14 update will be disabled. If an event isn’t configured as one of the domain’s eight conversion cases, it can still be used for partial reporting in Ads Manager and the creation of custom audiences.

Changes in Reporting

Delayed Reporting

Once the iOS 14 update is live, real-time reporting will no longer be supported, and data can be delayed up to three days. Web conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur as opposed to the time of ad impression.

Estimated Results

Statistical modeling may be used to account for conversions from iOS 14 users on web conversion events. This means that the data reported may not reflect a precise one-to-one match with actual results.

No Support for Breakdowns

Delivery and action breakdowns such as age, gender, region, and placement will no longer be supported for both app and web conversion events.

Attribution Window Settings

The attribution window for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at the ad set level rather than the account level after the iOS 14 update. The available attributions window settings will include the following options:

  • 1-day click
  • 7-day click (default after Apple prompt enforcement)
  • 1-day click and 1-day view
  • 7-day click and 1-day view (initial default)
  • 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported for active campaigns

What Does This Mean for You — How To Prepare for the Update

With the iOS 14 update looming on the horizon, it is crucial that advertisers and brands take these steps to mitigate the impacts of these changes.

Action Items Checklist

  • Verify your business
    • Your business must require access to certain products and features in order to begin business verification. Note that you won’t be able to click the “Start Verification” button unless your business is “not yet verified.” You must be an admin of the Business Manager account to submit an ID for verification.
    • Facebook will require you to go through business verification and claim responsibility for your Page if it has a large U.S. audience or runs ads about social issues, elections, or politics in the U.S.
  • Verify your domain
    • Domain verification helps Facebook ensure that only the rightful parties can edit link previews that direct to your content.
  • Activate native conversion tracking
    • Facebook’s conversion tracking tools may be limited by the iOS 14 update, but there are still third-party tools you can use to get valuable information on your conversion data.
  • Plan and prioritize your eight key conversion events
    • In Events Manager, set up eight preferred web conversion events per domain. Domains are limited to eight conversion events that can be used for campaign optimization with Aggregated Event Measurement. Based on your activity, Facebook will set up the conversion events they think are most important to your business.
    • Events that aren’t configured as one of the eight conversion events for a domain can still be used for partial reporting in Advertising Manager and website custom audience targeting, even though they can’t be used for optimization.
    • These events must be ranked in order of importance. Users who opt out of tracking will still pass the highest-ranked event back to Facebook.

Weathering the Storm

If you familiarize yourself with these changes and take the steps we laid out to prepare, you and your clients will be well-positioned when the iOS 14 update officially rolls out on Facebook.

There’s a lot changing in the Facebook ecosystem, but while these changes present some challenges to overcome, they also provide opportunities to test new marketing tactics and platform features. You can be sure that as we test and learn more about the effect that the iOS 14 update will have on marketing and advertising, we will report back to you with our observations and recommendations.

Once you have made all the necessary preparations for the iOS 14 update, familiarize yourself with tips and best practices for what you can do to optimize your ads and meet your Facebook ad performance goals. Check out our detailed guide on proven ways to improve Facebook ad performance!

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Written by

Stacy Hall

Digital Marketing Consultant

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