iOS 14 Will Change Facebook Ads in 2021. Here’s What You Need to Do

In the Spring of 2021, Apple will release an update to iOS 14 with new user privacy protocols, and data use policies. While the exact release date and the full extent of its consequences are unknown, it signals a massive shift in the industry.

January 28th is Data Privacy Day which is designed to raise awareness about the importance of protecting people’s personal information online. Apple issued this release, which featured a report called “A Day in the Life of Your Data,” to help everyone understand how companies track user data across websites and apps. The report shares how privacy features across Apple’s products give users more transparency and control, empowering people with the tools and knowledge to protect their personal information.

However, Facebook has released information to its partner advertisers outlining steps to take immediately. We’ll guide you through how Facebook Ads will be affected by iOS 14 in 2021 and what you should do about it.

How These Changes Will Affect You

Apple iOS 14 App Privacy

iOS 14’s Effect on Facebook Ads

On Facebook and other platforms, these new iOS 14 policies will impact targeting, optimization, and measurement. Ads will still work, but it will be more difficult to gauge how well they work and improve upon results. Basically, going back in time about 5-10 years.

Additionally, across the board, there will be:

  • challenges to retargeting and prospecting
  • slumps in effective audience building
  • declines in reported performance
  • delays to reporting
  • limits to tracking

Facebook’s Solution

Fortunately, we understand that Apple has agreed to let Facebook implement a modest workaround to their changes. This solution will allow limited conversion tracking. Nonetheless, it will require you to make the following changes to avoid interruptions to advertising campaigns and ensure their effectiveness.

What You Should Do About the iOS 14 Update

The 2 Steps You Need to Take For Facebook

  1. Verify your website domain(s) in Facebook Business Manager
  2. Shift to 1 Facebook Pixel per website domain
Verifying Your Domain with Facebook Business Manager

If you haven’t already, you should verify each website domain you use in Facebook’s Business Manager. For example, both twosixdigital.com and twosixdigital.org need to be separately verified if you plan on using them for ads on Facebook. But, learn.twosixdigital.com wouldn’t need to be, as it’s a subdomain of twosixdigital.com.

This isn’t a new process and is actually a best practice. Yet, you must prioritize verifying to comply with Facebook’s workaround. You can follow these steps to do so. We recommend asking your website developer for assistance.

Step 2: Shift to 1 Facebook Pixel Per Domain

After each domain you use is verified, you should then limit each domain to one Facebook Pixel. This single-pixel will need to be shared between everyone that needs it, such as DMOs, agencies, and partners. Additionally, pixels cannot be on two domains, either; for example, twosixdigital.com will need a different pixel than twosixdigital.org.

In effect, if you have multiple Pixels on your website right now, you will need to remove all but one of them. We recommend using the one that your Facebook Business Manager Account owns.

Step 3: Plan to Operate With 8 Conversion Events (Advanced)

Pick the 8 Pixel Events
If you know what a “Pixel Event” or “Website Conversion” is and use them, read on! If not, skip this step.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s solution requires that only 8 unique conversion events per website domain be used for campaign optimization. Landing Page View counts as one event, as do Purchase, Lead, Sign-Up, Contact, etc. Consequently, DMOs and any agencies that share the single pixel on a website will need to agree upon what 8 events will make the cut once the iOS update takes place.

What Exactly is Changing

1. The Tracking Prompt

After the new iOS update is installed, users on Apple mobile devices will receive a pop-up each time they open an app. It will force them to decide between “Allow Tracking” or “Ask App Not to Track.” Opting-out means that third-party companies, such as Facebook, cannot track users on the app. TwoSix Digital predicts that many iOS users will opt-out.

2. Click & Conversion Tracking

Facebook Click Events

The second part of the iOS update is Apple’s “Private Click Measurement (PCM)” proposal. If users opt-out of tracking, low-level metrics (such as link clicks) can be tracked, but web conversions will no longer be supported. Web conversions are at the heart of what pixels do and can be anything from a Landing Page View to a Purchase. This is what will have the most far-reaching consequences.

Conclusion

In 2020, 58% of our link clicks on Facebook & Instagram came from iOS devices, accounting for 66% of users reached and 62% of ads delivered. In short, the majority, which is probably a fair reflection of how many Americans use Apple’s mobile devices. Consequently, these iOS 14 updates will affect all digital marketing, and Facebook happens to be giving itself a head start.

TwoSix Digital can implement these changes for you, and we encourage you to have them done as soon as possible. While this is an emerging story, completing these steps will ensure you’re securely positioned for future fluctuations. It’s a disappointing development, but we can help you navigate these changes and ensure that you continue to thrive in this new online marketing environment.

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