In June of 2020, Apple introduced its latest operating system—iOS14, and with it came not only updates to Home Screen pages but also new privacy measures.

You may have heard that the other digital titans are not happy about these changes.

Facebook went as far as buying full-page ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times to declare that it was standing up to Apple and protecting small businesses that use its affordable marketing tools to reach customers and grow their business.

How exactly will these updated privacy measures affect advertisers?

Sometime this year, Apple plans to start requiring iOS device owners to choose whether to allow various companies to track them across third-party apps and websites through Apple’s App Tracking Transparency Framework. This valuable tracking information is used by every single social media platform to target users with relevant ads. Any business that advertises mobile apps or optimizes ads for web conversions will be affected.

Let’s look at how the changes affect conversion-based businesses.

Once the new prompt requirement launches, users will be asked to choose to opt-in or opt-out of tracking. There will be no major changes to data usage for people who opt-in to be tracked.

Despite that, Facebook expects that as more people opt-out, ad personalization and performance reporting will become limited.

As we will not be able to track all website users, we anticipate a slight decline in performance and a reduction in website custom audience sizes.

In the past, we could create as many custom conversion events as needed to track user behaviour once they click on the ad and land on the website.

  • Did they look at specific categories?
  • Which items they added to their Wishlist or Cart?
  • Did they make a purchase or not?

All of these events could be tracked by a single Facebook pixel. Now we will be limited to 8 events per domain using a new Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) protocol, which processes web events from opted-out devices to help advertisers run effective ad campaigns—all while supporting customer choices regarding ad tracking within Facebook.

Real-time reporting for conversion campaigns will no longer be supported, and data may be delayed up to 72 hours.

Also, demographic breakdowns for conversions, such as age, gender, region and placement will not be supported.

So what can advertisers do now to prepare for these changes?

You will need to verify your domain in the Business Manager and configure 8 preferred web conversion events in the Events Manager.

How will the current changes impact data collection for Android users?

It won’t affect them. However, Facebook can’t run ads on two separate platforms for iOS and Android users.

Although data will still be collected without changes from users that opt-in and Android users, Facebook needed to make choices to enable the whole system to operate under restricted, aggregated and delayed data. For that reason, the Business Manager backend is changing across the board to accommodate Apple’s restrictions. This will also help get a holistic overview of the campaign performance for both Android and iOS users.

What does this mean for my future campaigns?

Even though Facebook will not be able to report all conversions that are happening, the conversions will still happen.

If you want to optimize ads for purchases, users will still buy the products after seeing/clicking on the ad—but we may not be able to attribute the sales directly to Facebook anymore. Despite that, continuing to run highly successful conversion campaigns is crucial for your ROI.

Furthermore, industry analysts agree that the change would probably have a limited impact on Facebook’s ability to deliver ads to interested users, as it already knows a lot about its users’ interests from their activity on Facebook Family of Apps.

What next?

This is just a short overview of the platform changes Facebook’s developers are working on. There are a lot of moving parts, and things are subject to change. For example, Apple still hasn’t disclosed when they will enforce the prompt.

The good news is that if you still have any questions or need help setting up your social campaigns, GMD’s Social Ads Strategists team, including myself, are always happy to assist you. Click here to get in touch.