How privacy on iOS 14 will impact your Facebook and Instagram ads, and what to do about it

Tanya Sardana
January 25, 2021 5:24 AM

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Hello, and welcome back to the FLYSHOT show, where we keep you updated on everything mobile advertising. 
Recently, we delved into the ongoing war between Facebook and Apple over Apple's new iOS 14 privacy features. Changes that led to Facebook warning its shareholders to expect a 50% loss from its Audience Network. But that was in August, things have gotten a lot worse for Facebook since then, especially since the company realized these changes won't just affect its mobile advertisers, but all its customers including web and e-commerce advertisers targeting users through Facebook's apps, that is Instagram and the FB app. 
It is being said that Facebook only recently realized the magnitude of this change, and this realization has been behind its recent media cry in the form of full-page ads attacking Apple's for stalling small business growth and locking up the free internet. 
Regardless of what happens, Facebook is not going to let go of allowing advertisers to target the iOS user base, after all, it holds up to 25% more purchasing users than Android.

In this video, we will discuss how Facebook has updated its mobile advertising to start playing by Apple's new rules. 
Any business that optimizes, targets, and reports on conversion events from any of Facebook's tools or products will be affected. Mobile advertisers will have to rework their Instagram and Facebook ad setups, and prepare for less effective targeting and conversion attribution. Facebook has updated its current SDK to support Apple’s SkAdNetwork and all apps will be required to use the updated version. 

Back in August, Facebook announced that they would completely abandon IDFA and not use the soon to be infamous App Tracking Transparency prompt. These updated guidelines have them backtracking on their claims. 

Starting in early 2021, Facebook will start exposing their users to the ATT prompt on both the Facebook and Instagram iOS apps. This change became necessary after Apple clarified that its privacy guidelines would apply not just to mobile advertising but also for all app to web campaigns. 

This is massive, as the implications of iOS 14 have transcended the mobile advertising ecosystem to literally every web and e-commerce advertiser that uses Facebook or Instagram. 
So even if a user clicks an Instagram ad and lands on a web page and makes a purchase, attributing that conversion to the Instagram ad will be considered "tracking.", unless the user has explicitly opted in, the probability of which is under 10%.

And since they have opted out of tracking, Facebook will no longer be able deterministically attribute the conversion to that ad. Making its targeting significantly less effective. 

Also, it will no longer be able to follow users outside of the Facebook app, which by the way, it does regardless of whether users clicked on their ads or not.

You wanna know more about this? Ok. If you visit a website organically, i.e. typed something in your search browser, let's say to purchase something like a pair of shoes shoes. In this case you didn't click on an ad, however Facebook is able to track that organic website visit since most website have the Facebook pixel installed, and you automatically start seeing ads for competitors since you are likely in the market for shoes.

That's right, FB uses as much data outside of its ecosystem as it does inside because of FB pixel, and they can use that data to match to your device ID (or IDFA), that makes their targeting hyper accurate. Or used to regarding hyper accurate, as this won't be happening anymore.

By not being able to pass crucial conversion data back to FB, its algorithm will not be able to optimize as effectively as it does now. Retargeting and interest campaigns will become quite ineffective. Now, it makes sense why they would go on the attack with Apple as these changes are a huge blow to Facebook's business model. 

That said, we can’t ignore that the entire digital marketing industry will have to adjust and adapt to these new guidelines, which is a big deal.

So if you are a mobile advertiser thinking of app-to-web campaigns, or a web advertiser, here's what you need to know about FB’s latest updates:

1. All web event attribution on Facebook will be aggregated 

Similar to SKAdNetwork, advertisers can expect only campaign-level data from their FB campaigns. Not user-level data, as they've been used to.

2. Web campaigns will be limited to 8 events per domain 

This is even more restrictive than Apple's 64 event limit on app campaigns. And again, in accordance with the SKAdNetwork, only the highest level of event will be attributed to the campaign.  

3. Value Optimization (VO) campaigns will still be available to web advertisers

VO campaigns enable advertisers to optimize their ad campaigns based on purchase value data and this will still be available to web advertisers but limited to four conversion events. Although purchases on iOS 14 will only tracked if they occur within a 24-28 period as per Apple's Skadnetwork, the accuracy and effectiveness of Value Optimization tool will be severely affected. 

4. Facebook will support Apple's existing 14 standard events for App Event Optimization campaigns.

There were questions around whether advertisers will be allowed to configure these events. And yes, advertisers can configure these events to conversion values however they'd like to. 

5. Finally, another notable update is that to minimize disruptions, FB will provide support to MMPs to assist in managing new processes and conversion values.  

This is a lot to digest, and FB has offered continued support and resources to ensure that the transition is smooth for all its clients and partners. 
We suggest that you review facebook's blog posts and developer and business resources to better understand what actions you may need to take to be prepared. 
The line has been drawn, and no matter what side you are on, the movement towards greater user privacy and security is only likely to pick up more steam. 
Now, if you'd like a simpler solution to generate accurate, deterministic conversions inside your app, check out our new promo code technology that uses screenshots to drive in-app conversions and generate deterministic conversion analytics through influencer marketing. 

Our website is in the description below. If you have any questions or comments regarding these changes, be sure to leave us a comment below. 
Until next time.