In June 2020, Apple announced changes with the release of iOS 14. These iOS changes will impact how businesses receive and process conversion events from tools such as the Facebook pixel. As such, businesses that advertise mobile apps, as well as any that optimise, target, and report on web conversion events from an array of business tools are affected.

Today we aim to, as simply as possible, explain these changes, how they can impact your Facebook Ads, and what you can do about it.

The iOS Changes – Explained

Firstly, let’s clarify some terminology:

  • iOS – This is the operating system used by iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, and other Apple mobile devices. It is based on the Mac OS and enables streamlined, simple networking between Apple products, including facilitating interactions via tapping, swiping, and pinching.

  • Conversion Event – Conversion events include the completion of purchases as well as pre-purchase actions such as viewing a product, adding it to a shopping cart, and commencing a checkout process.

    In terms of Facebook Ads: When you create a Facebook Ad, you will need to select the conversion for which to optimise. Facebook will then display that ad set to those consumers who are targeted as most likely to complete the conversion.

iOS users will be given an opt-in prompt on each app to allow them to elect whether or not to consent to data tracking by third-party sites like Facebook.

Key changes include:

  1. The SKAdNetwork API will be used on app iOS 14 devices for Facebook app advertising, restricting, delaying, or aggregating all app event data. This will restrict every Facebook Ads account to a maximum of nine campaigns with five ad sets per campaign. Reporting will be delayed for up to three days after an app has been installed.
  2. PCM (Private Click Management) will also affect advertisers. This is a protocol that will restrict data access by businesses and platforms, potentially interrupting redirections from ads to websites and impacting the attribution of conversion events.
  3. iOS 14.5 caps optimisation to eight-pixel events per domain. This will particularly impact small-scale advertisers.
  4. Tracking and measurement of ad campaigns will become more complicated due to under-reporting and the use of dark traffic on social media.

The iOS 14 update will deliver a more streamlined user experience, as well as ensuring the Apple user’s apps are more private, personal, and intelligent. With the release of iOS 14, Apple will require its App Store apps that engage in tracking to display a prompt to iOS users to opt-in for data personalisation and performance reporting. It will prohibit all non-opt-in data collection and sharing for in-app and web conversion events.

What does this mean? To avoid being blocked from the App Store, Facebook has been forced to display these tracking prompts. The result is that these changes limit the ability to target leads and customers who opt-out of Facebook’s app tracking. This diminishes the ability for businesses to run highly personalised ad campaigns, decreasing audience size and ad campaign performance. Businesses that use Facebook for paid advertising purposes will be negatively impacted, as their internet marketing activities will become more expensive.

How Can I Avoid the Impact of iOS Changes on My Facebook Ads?

The ecosystem in which digital ads reside has always been dynamic, and the role of business owners and digital marketers is to adapt and evolve with the changes.

Small business owners must understand these changes and ensure their future ads are trackable. For those not advertising mobile apps you should have already make these changes to ensure your ads continue to run:

  1. Verify Your Domains with Facebook – add a DNS TXT entry to your DNS record. Confirm your ownership of the domain. You could also add a meta tag to thesection of your home page. By verifying your domain, you establish which Business Manager Account may configure and prioritise your conversion events.
  2. Determine which eight events you’ll track for conversions – and rank these in Events Manager. These may include eight events from one Facebook pixel or multiple pixels.
  3. Calculate the impact the iOS change will have on your business before Facebook reduces its 28-day attribution to 7-day post-click and 1-day post view.

Partner with an expert, professional digital agency like Sparx. These changes and their implications are quite complex and, unless you are extremely tech-savvy and highly informed on the changes and how to mitigate the consequences of them for your business, hiring a digital expert is your best way forward.

Succeed with Sparx!

Now is the time to be proactive and adapt to the iOS changes in such a way that you create new opportunities for data and feedback collection.

Sparx Digital is a dynamic, energetic team of digital experts who are at the forefront of our industry. We have the experience and insight to work with you to help you overcome challenges and harness the power of the internet to build your business, generate interest, attract the right audience, and ultimately increase your return on investment.

We can help you right now to navigate the complexities of the iOS changes as they pertain to your Facebook Ads.
Call us today on 1300 477 279 or email us at hello@sparx.com.au.

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