What does the new iOS update mean for Facebook and Apple users and advertisers?

Facebook and Apple have been in a feud over privacy since 2014!

This feud has escalated with the new iOS update introduction. There has been a lot of criticism going back and forth between Facebook and Apple due to the new App Store guideline that will force apps to provide an option for users to decide whether they would like to be tracked or not across the web.

Facebook is currently running the warning below on its advertising platform to educate and prepare advertisers about the impact of the new iOS 14 privacy features.

Clicking on Learn More will take you to a Facebook article that explains that the iOS update will “harm the growth of business and the free internet.”

Facebook is showing these messages to criticize Apple and get popular appeal to change Apple’s mind about its new privacy rule.

Apple was expected to launch the new privacy policy back in September 2020, but was delayed until the beginning of 2021.

This brings us to Q1 of 2021. Some iOS users have already started seeing the tracking notification below on some apps.

This message will appear when accessing an app for the first time after the feature is out. Users will get the notification for new and old apps that are already on their devices. On the notification, companies like Facebook can explain to users why they should Allow tracking.

Facebook is against this feature and has been vocal about its effects on small businesses and how it will hurt their capability of reaching new customers. They published a full-page newspaper ad with the title: “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”

The discouraging prompt will have repercussions for advertisers. Optimizing, targeting, or reporting on Facebook/Instagram apps and mobile web versions will be impacted due to lack of data sharing. This feature could cause ad revenue to drop.

Apple has refused all Facebook criticism and has focused on the fact that they are not requiring Facebook to make any changes to their tracking approach, but to seek permission instead. Jane Horvath, Apple senior director of global privacy, shared the company’s belief that “privacy is a fundamental human right.” They are giving users a choice and it is their way of standing up for their users. Apple also emphasized that it is possible to run ads that protect users’ privacy.

We agree — privacy is a human right and are glad Apple is standing up for users. We also feel the user notification, while transparent, is abrupt and the general public may not understand the benefits of usability that tracking creates for each specific user.

To minimize disruptions, Facebook provided a few solutions outlined below:


Details (The Nitty Gritty)What You Should Do
Aggregated Events Measurement
Facebook will introduce Aggregated Events Measurement to support measurement of web events from iOS 14 users once Apple requires the ATT prompt. It is designed to help measure campaign performance in a way that is consistent with consumers’ decisions about their data. You will be limited to the use of 8 conversion events per domain (i.e., 8 <pixel, event> or <custom conversion> per domain). You will not need to make changes to the pixel or your Conversions API implementation as event selection will be done in Events Manager beginning early 2021.

Domain verification in Business Manager: Verify your domain using the steps outlined in the Facebook Help Center. Set up and verify 8 conversion events per domain.
Delivery Value Optimization
VO will transition from Ads Manager to Events Manager and value set will need to be enabled. For optimal performance, events with value sets turned on should be placed in higher priority slots within the Events Manager

If you are already using VO, no action is required. If you are interested in enabling VO, click here to learn more about the eligibility requirements.  
Dynamic AdsThere are no specific changes for Dynamic Ads for Retargeting, but you may see performance and audience sizes decrease. We expect minimal impact to you using Dynamic Ads to reach Broad Audiences.
Verify product URL domains in the catalog feed and avoid the use of URLs redirecting users to a different domain. Prepare to use only 1 pixel per catalog to optimize for prioritized conversion events across all catalog items.

Ad Reporting
28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported. Historical data for these windows will remain accessible via the Ads Insights API. Certain attribution windows will have partial reporting and metrics will not include all events from iOS 14 users. In-product annotation will communicate when a metric is partial. This will launch in early 2021. Delivery and action breakdowns will not be supported for offsite conversion events. We will be replacing the account-level attribution window with a new attribution setting at the ad set level that can be accessed during campaign creation. Attribution window settings for existing and newly created automated rules will no longer be supported, and a default window of 7-day click-through for non-iOS conversions.

Prepare for attribution window changes (deprecation of 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through windows): Adopt the Comparing Windows feature to see how conversions attributed to ads compare across different attribution windows. This allows you to better anticipate the impact to reported conversions as a result of upcoming attribution window changes. Update any automated rules currently using a 28-day attribution window to prevent any unexpected adjustments in spend once the new 7-day click-through window default goes into effect.  

Developer APIsOur Marketing API, Ads Insights API, and Targeting API will have endpoint changes according to the changes referenced in the Events Management, Delivery, and Measurement sections of this document.
Take action on the changes mentioned in this blog, and review the changes coming to our APIs. These have not gone into effect and cannot be implemented at this time; however, we want to give you as much notice as possible. You can view the changelog here.

You can view the full Facebook solutions here.  If you have specific questions or need guidance, please reach out to us at media@donlonagency.com

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