Upcoming iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency Framework and Your Facebook Ads

In their continued effort to drive a ‘Privacy First’ narrative, Apple is preparing for further updating to iOS 14, and this is bringing some changes that apps running on the new system will have to follow, including Facebook and Instagram. In accordance with Apple’s new privacy policy, apps available in the App Store must now show a prompt to iOS 14 users in accordance with their AppTrackingTransparency framework, which will allow users to decide if they want their data to be tracked, measured and used in a way to deliver personalized ads to the user. Unless the user opts In, Apple iOS 14 users will not be able to be tracked, measured or optimized for within Facebook campaigns. Direct impacts on campaign performance and execution will likely be widely felt, and strategic understanding and response is imperative.

In addition, to control the volume of data being shared, the number of Events to be captured on a single domain will be capped at 8. This will be most dramatically felt in circumstances where multiple Facebook Pixels exist, calling on multiple levels of Conversion Events. I.e., if you have 2 Facebook pixels set up, each calling on 4 Events (Page View, Content View, Leads, Purchase), this quickly maxes your available Events. Anything that exceeds that number will be disabled, and only enabled through Webmaster tools.

How will this impact ad serving and reporting on the Facebook Ads platform?

I. Onsite engagement metrics, previously shared by the Facebook Pixel data, will be skewed down substantially based on an assumed low Opt-In level from these iOS devices.

II. In-Market audience sizes will likely decrease as Facebook will be unable to identify user intent and engagement to align campaign objectives. This will also shrink Custom Audience Lookalike modeling based on the same reasons as mentioned above.

What are we doing at Search Optics to address this new update?

To minimize the impact on our clients’ campaigns, Search Optics has taken multiple steps which will not only limit risk to these updates but will further set up campaigns for optimal performance.

I. Campaign targeting will lean more heavily into custom and tier I audience composition to allow for a more refined audience. This will offset potential decreases in audience size while keeping a keen focus on quality.

II. To avoid over saturation of pixel data, Search Optics is actively sweeping all appropriate accounts to ensure that tagging is properly completed, and only the most valuable events are tagged on the website. This may vary by client objective and requires the expertise and intimacy of understanding what is driving campaign results, powered by Search Optics.

As we get closer to the launch of this update, which to date is still unclear since its initial announcement this past Summer, there is no doubt the details will evolve, and adjustments will be made. At Search Optics we are hyper-focused on gaining deep understanding of the shifts in the Digital ecosystem, and most importantly how to manage these with minimal friction or impact to our clients.


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