Shopify Ecosystem

Facebook Vs. IOS 14 – A Rundown

facebook-vs.-ios-14-–-a-rundown

The basics:

Apple’s iOS 14 will require all apps to display an App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt that will require users to opt-in or out to allow advertisers access to their data. The more users who opt-out, the less data Facebook advertisers will have – not good.

While 72% of iOS users have already updated to iOS14, Apple hasn’t yet publicly released the update prompting users with their ad ultimatum, specifying that it will happen “early in 2021.”

Facebook is furious with the update and placed ads in the NYT, WSJ, and Financial Times writing “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.”  

What this means for advertisers:  

  • Less data = sad algo: Facebook is going to have less data in its arsenal to make decisions (although we’re still unsure as to how much less and how it will impact things overall). iOS users are a huge subset of the online purchasers group — if they don’t feed data back to FB, this will, no doubt, affect the algo’s ability to make decisions.
  • Incomplete data: This will affect the number of conversions that Facebook can track and the audiences they can target. Zuck won’t be able to share all the data he used to with all of us advertisers.
  • Fewer events: You’ll have the ability to use only 8 conversion events per domain and you’ll have to rank them based on priority.
  • Less attribution: Attribution and reporting windows will be moving from 28 days to 7 days (back end performance may be exactly the same, but it will look different). Bye-bye 28 day click, 7 day view.
  • Reporting is going to get muddier: Beyond just shorter attribution windows, FB is going to be using more statistical modelling (best guess) instead of actual data for opted out iOS users. Some of these guesses may be delayed by up to 3 days. That means that your reporting accuracy is probably not going to be quite as good as it used to.

Inhale. Now exhale. We all need a deep breath after reading that. We’re not gonna sugar coat it, these are big changes that will likely impact your campaigns. This also isn’t the first time we’ve seen these data gaps. Think GDPR, California, etc.

It’s a bit scary but it’s not the end of the world. These are big changes for FB advertisers, but DTC’s got your back. We’re continuing to gather as much information as possible and we’ll keep you updated across the newsletter, Twitter and Instagram. For now, check out the action items.

Key action items to do today:  

  • Verify your domain(s). Here are the outlined steps via Facebook.  
  • Determine your top 8 conversion events. Rank these based on your businesses’ goals.
  • Focus on angles and go HEAVY on creative testing. It’s the biggest lever you have to connect with customers without relying on Facebook’s targeting. (If you’re looking for more info on how to do this effectively, look through your inbox for our newsie on gold coin testing or join DTC+ for all of our content on demand)

Our take:

Embrace the change. The jury is still out on how this is actually going to affect things (we won’t really know until we understand the rate at which iOS users are opting in or out). It will have an impact, but keep in mind that everyone is in this together — every brand, every agency, every marketer AND Facebook (and it’s stock price). Staying informed is the best approach. Change is inevitable. We will all adapt.

Dig deeper:

Special thanks to our friends at Pilothouse for their insights on this topic.
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