The new version of Apple’s operating system has been released with numerous updates, new features, and enhancements for user interface and experience. However, under the guise of a feature-packed release, an upcoming update for iOS 14 poses a significant risk for Facebook ads, which may be crippling for many businesses. Here is what you need to know about how iOS 14 will affect personalized ads and what you can do now to tackle issues before they even appear.
iOS 14 and custom ads – the core issue
With the new update, Apple will require its apps to display a discouraging popup window that will prohibit the collection and sharing of data critical for personalized ads if users do not agree to Apple’s terms. Furthermore, cookie lifespan will be reduced to just 30 minutes. All of this means that advertisers may be unable to calculate conversions for those iOS users that reject the rules and it will be difficult to recognize the users coming back to the platform. Apple’s new regulations will strip advertisers of their ability to target or exclude ads with reference to users who did not accept the terms, which will result in less relevant ads for those people regardless of what they browsed on the internet or how they interacted with certain apps. The quality of data in the Insights will also be much worse. This will be a huge problem for many businesses.
A new reality for Facebook Ads
The update is a serious blow to Facebook Ads. Mark Zuckerberg’s platform has been outspoken in the defense of small businesses for whom the changes may be particularly detrimental. The update will affect a number of Facebook solutions, including Facebook Pixel. Once the changes appear, in time, entrepreneurs may experience a decrease in ad performance and reach, with a simultaneous increase in cost per action. Apple justifies its update with care for privacy. In its own statement, Facebook believes that privacy and personalized ads can coexist and the platform offers both transparency and user control over how the data is processed. To make the internet community more aware of Apple’s changes, Facebook for Business now features a subpage that describes the issue and encourages entrepreneurs to voice their discontent and speak about the risks to their businesses posed by the new update for Apple iOS 14. According to the site, the inability to provide effective personalized ads can cut the profits of businesses by as much as 60%. Facebook’s Business Help Center also outlines specific actions that can prepare users for this new change.
Configuration of ads and how to work with Facebook pixel after Apple implements changes
As a long-time partner of Facebook, we are experts at making sure your business uses the full potential of Facebook Ads. And here it is not only about the configuration of Facebook Pixel itself, but also about the work and configuration of the Facebook Marketing API, which also allows access to almost all information about users that Facebook stores (of course with the consent of its users).
Solutions that, as a certified Facebook partner, we can introduce on the website will allow you to create and optimize ads, but most of all will give you access to proper reporting, which is crucial for creating a digital marketing strategy
Here are a few things one can do to prepare for the upcoming changes, following the suggestions of the Facebook Business Help Center.
First, if you use Facebook SDK, you should update to version 8.1 or above. This will allow you to provide more personalized ads for iOS 14 users, continue to measure app install ads, continue the optimization for app installs and event optimization with Automated App Ads, and more. Then, you need to adjust your event configuration schema for Apple’s SLAdNetwork in the Events Manager to measure and optimize for app events, value and mobile app installs with app events. Next, you should send the Advertiser Tracking Enabled flag with app events to share user consent status. The details on how to do that are discussed in a separate topic on Facebook for Developers.
If you work with a Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) and don’t use Facebook SDK you should consult your MMP for information regarding the progress of integration with Facebook to support SKAdNetwork. If the integration is complete and the configuration schema is successful, the MMP should provide you with a unique URL. You should choose the “Import from Partner App” setup option and paste the URL to run app event optimization and value optimization campaigns.
If you do work with an MMP and use Facebook SDK, when you attempt to optimize mobile app installs make sure your app has Facebook SDK for iOS 8.1 or higher, or the equivalent version of MMP SDK. For this to work, it is necessary for the MMP to have finished Facebook integration to support SKAdNetwork. Then, you need to configure your event configuration schema in Events Manager when optimizing for app events, value or mobile app installs + app events. Finally, you need to send the Advertiser Tracking Enabled flag with app events to share user consent status. As mentioned earlier, you can find the details on how to do this on Facebook for Developers.
If you use App Events API, some of the steps are similar, but there are some differences as well. Make sure your app supports Apple’s SKAdNetwork. You can confirm SKAdNetwork configuration through the Customize setup method. Next, similarly to the steps above, you need to Configure your event configuration schema in Events Manager. Then, you should set up and share the mobile OS and iOS version together with your app events. The relevant guideline (Extended Device Information) can be found on the Facebook for Developers page. Finally, send the Advertiser Tracking Enabled flag with app events to share user consent status. The details are available here.
Other actions that should be considered with reference to Facebook and the updates for iOS 14 include:
- the verification of your website’s domain to mitigate any possible disruptions to your website campaigns
- the configuration of 8 preferred web conversion events per domain in the Events Manager
Apple stirred the internet community with the privacy updates for iOS 14. We will see if the changes turn out as bad as some suggest. If you need help with preparing for the new reality of Facebook Ads to keep your business running as effectively as possible, the developers at createIT have your back.