The rapid changes and growth of digital ads have led platforms to make changes that cater to the needs of both consumers and businesses alike. Apple’s newest iOS update is one that will extensively modify the way that ads are created, tracked and interacted with by both sides of the advertising spectrum.
The initial response from Facebook to the changes in iOS 14 was one of resistance, ultimately however, they have decided that the best source of action is to oblige to the changes and provide ongoing stability to its businesses and partners.
In this post, we will go over Apple’s new policy and discuss the changes required for both website and app developers and review the next steps to prepare businesses for these changes.
New Apple iOS 14 Policy
What does the new iOS 14 policy entail?
To understand how Facebook advertisers will be affected, we first need to understand the changes that will be coming in to place with the iOS 14 update. The full brief is available from Apple, but we have summarised the three key changes below.
Data Nutrition Label
The data nutrition label will require all apps to submit exactly how their apps collect and use data from their users. App owners and developers must upload this informational clause to the Apple App Store Connect.
Tracking Transparency Prompts
All apps that use the Apple App Store will be required by the new policy to ask users for permission to track their data across third-party apps and websites. This tracking transparency will appear as a prompt to users and will give them the ability to accept or decline the tracking of their data. An example of this can be seen below.
Tracking via App and Browser APIs
Facebook and other platforms that track its users across third-party apps and browsers will now be required to make use of a new framework. This places restrictions on the data that can be collected and could delay event reporting. The previously instant reporting for App Conversion Campaigns could now be delayed for up to three days with the new SKAN API (SKAdNetwork API).
What is Facebook doing to mitigate these changes?
While Facebook is against these changes due to the far-reaching effects they can have on small and medium sized businesses, Facebooks biggest sector of advertisers. The technology giant is going to be adhering to the new iOS 14 guidelines. Although these guidelines will lead to changes being made in how businesses will advertise on the platform, the threat of losing their relationship with Apple which would ultimately be more detrimental to Facebook than Apple.
Here is a summary of how Facebook is dealing with the changes:
Adhering to new prompt guidelines
Previously Facebook has used transparency features for ads such as the “Why am I seeing this?” feature, an option to hide the ad and an off-Facebook activity switch. Users on iOS 14 will be prompted to decide whether they agree to allow their data to be collected or not rather than having to go through numerous menus to make the change.
Continuing to Collect Device Identifiers
For those who choose to opt into the new transparency prompt, device identifier will be collect. Prior to iOS 14 all users’ device identifiers were collected.
App-Based Business Tools
Facebook will continue to support app-based business tools for Apple’s limited measurement solution, SKAN API, for mobile apps.
Aggregated Event Management (AEM)
For advertisers using web-based business tools, Facebook will limit the measurement of some events for iOS 14 users through the new data-sharing protocol. This new system will change the way that advertisers track conversions; to learn more read Apple’s blog post.
Changes Advertisers Can Expect in iOS 14
The changes in iOS14 will have wide-ranging effects that will be felt by both web and app developers. There are some general limitations that you will need to be aware of if you’re a Facebook or Instagram advertiser.
There are a few key changes that will create some limitations for ad creation. For starters, auction bidding is now the only way of buying when creating ads for devices on iOS14. Therefore, reach and frequency bidding is no longer available. For more information on limitations when creating your ads read Facebook’s blog post.
The new iOS 14 update will limit advertisers’ ability to measure the performance of campaigns on Facebook. The previous real-time reporting will no longer be supported, and businesses could see a data delay of up to three days. Statistical modelling may be used to account for conversions from iOS 14 users.
Delivery and action breakdowns including age, gender, region, and placement will not be supported.
Attribution windows will be set at the ad set level, rather than the account level, and will be limited to a seven-day click and one-day view window.
The size of app connections and Custom Audiences for both app and web activity will decrease as more people opt-out of tracking on iOS 14 devices. This means that audiences may need to be broadened to capture the attention of potential customers.
Moving Forward with iOS14 advertising
The Apple iOS14 update will undoubtedly bring considerable change for all Facebook advertisers. So whether you are a web or app developer, this update is one that will not go unnoticed. Making changes early will ensure that your Facebook and Instagram ads will continue to bear fruit even after the iOS14 update.