What you need to know about the iOS 14 update and its impact on your social campaigns

Apple’s iOS 14 update releasing this spring is a complex upgrade that is creating concerns and confusion across digital advertising.

What is the Apple iOS 14 update?

The update to iOS 14 changes the default setting of data sharing for users. Previously, users would have to opt-out of data sharing when downloading apps like Facebook. The Apple update now provides a prompt to users asking them to opt-in to certain types of data sharing. While many in digital advertising vocally disagree with the decision by Apple, this change has forced many digital advertising platforms to develop plans to address this switch. Apple has said any apps that do not show the prompt will be blocked from the App Store.

How does the update impact Facebook campaigns?

Facebook, while disagreeing with the update, has released their solution for this required prompt. Facebook’s solution is to start processing pixel events using Aggregated Event Measurement, which complies with Apple’s update. This will support efforts to preserve user privacy and help run effective advertising campaigns. However, even with these updates, there will likely be a significant impact on Facebook advertising.

Here are some differences advertisers will experience:

With the ability to opt-out of tracking more easily, the size of custom audiences and app connections and activity can decrease.
Attribution windows will now default to a 7-day click window.
Pixel custom tracking events will be limited to 8 events per domain.
Real-time reporting will not be available, and data may be delayed up to 3 days.
Reporting/delivery breakdowns by age, gender, region and placement will no longer be supported for pixel-required conversions (i.e. conversions, app downloads, etc.)

What does this mean for my campaign?

If you are running a campaign utilizing the pixel (landing page views, on-site conversions, on-site event tracking), your campaign will be affected. As a result, your domain ownership will need to be verified within the client’s own Facebook Business Manager.

Once verified, if you are currently using any conversion events, they will need to be audited so that the 8 events are prioritized within the Events Manager. If you are utilizing multiple pixels on your website (for example, through multiple agencies or advertising partners), you’ll need to work with all partners to ensure that they have worked to audit and prioritize events across all pixels and campaigns.

Campaigns utilizing link clicks, impressions, lead gen and post engagement objectives will be unaffected.

Examining A Campaign Example

A retail client is currently running two campaigns: an e-commerce conversions campaign and a lead gen campaign.

Illustration of lead gen and e-commerce campaigns

They have a pixel placed on their website through the agency running their campaigns. Their pixel currently has 12 events ranging from View Content to Submit Contact Us Form to Add to Cart to Purchase.

Illustration of pixel with 12 events

Within their Business Manager, they first verify their domain ownership.

Illustration of verifying a domain

From there, they then work with their agency to determine which eight conversions are most important. Because the lead gen campaign is unaffected by the pixel changes, you may decide to remove the Submit Contact Us Form from the conversion list to leave room for others. The list of eight conversions will also need to be put into order of priority.

Illustration of prioritizing 8 events

Stay in touch during the iOS 14 rollout

No matter the platforms you choose to use within your digital advertising strategy, the Apple iOS 14 update is going have an impact. Because the iOS 14 update is not yet live, we don’t have a true understanding of the full impact. However, as advertising platforms work to create solutions to reduce the effect on their advertiser’s campaigns, we will keep you updated on solutions and what this will mean for your digital marketing strategies.

Contributed by Anne Cook, Social Media Strategist

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