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Marketing / 27th Jan, 2021

Big changes affecting all digital marketers

Apple has recently confirmed that the new iOS 14 update will affect how we receive and process conversion events, which will affect Facebook ads.

This update is forcing all apps to show a prompt to it’s users on iOS devices that asks permission for the app to track them outside the platform. Although an official date hasn’t been announced yet as to when this will happen, it is believed that it will be sometime early this year.

So what does this mean for you and your business? If you are running ads on Facebook that measure and track behaviour not on Facebook itself, but instead tracks purchases or website visitors through the Facebook Pixel, these will no longer be tracked if the user clicks ‘no’ to being tracked on the Facebook app.

Businesses that advertise mobile apps, as well as those that optimise and target, will be affected. As the majority of ads are run on Facebook and Instagram and most of the ads are served on Instagram and Facebook apps, this is a real hurdle for digital marketers to overcome.

Currently, about 70% of iOS users share their IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) with app publishers, and this number is expected to drop to 10% to 15% after this shift.

Some examples of data tracking that will require the approval of users includes:

  • Showing targeted ads in your app based on user data obtained from other businesses’ owned apps and websites.
  • Sharing device location data or email lists with a data broker.
  • Sharing with a third-party advertising network a list of emails or IDs using the information to retarget those users.
  • Placing a third-party SDK in your app that combines the user data from your app with user data from other developers’ apps to target advertising or measure advertising efficiency.

There are a few more issues that should be considered, as the update will put limitations on conversion metrics and reporting issues that could be measured.

Luckily there are a variety of ways that you can prepare yourself for this Apple update:

  1. Ensure your domain is verified
    This will help prevent any potential interruption of your website campaigns. For domains with pixels used by several companies or personal ad accounts, domain verification should be prioritised.
  2. Start to understand how many of your purchases/leads are from iOS devices
    This way you, once the update is in effect, you can see how your reporting might be impacted.
  3. Focus your ad efforts on getting email addresses
    This will mean that you can rely less on Pixel optimisation for retargeting. You can use Lead Generation for this as they will have an advantage in the future with the Apple update.
  4. Learn more about how to use Facebook pixel
    This will help you to reach new devices on iOS 14 as well as allow you to measure performance.
  5. Update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1
    This will help personalise ads delivered to devices on iOS 14 and continue to receive app conversion events reporting from iOS 14 devices. You can do this from Events Manager but you will need to be an app admin to do so.

All of this being said, there’s no need to be too alarmed just yet. At this stage there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the update. Right now it is important that you focus on making sure you’re as prepared for these changes as possible.

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