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The Impact of Apple's IOS 14 on Facebook Ads

Published on: November 17 2023 by Aaron Bermingham

The Impact of Apple's IOS 14 on Facebook Ads

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Apple's Proposed Changes for iOS 14
    • Changes in the App Store
    • App Tracking Transparency
  3. How Apple's Changes Affect Facebook Ads
    • Impact on Opt-In Rate for Personalized Ads
    • Potential Revenue Cut for Small Businesses
  4. New Limitations for Facebook Ads
    • Optimization for Conversion Events
    • Real-Time Reporting
    • Estimated Results based on Statistical Modeling
    • Removal of Breakdowns Delivery and Action
    • Attribution Window Changes
  5. Adapting to the Changes
    • Verifying Your Business's Domain
    • Diversifying Traffic Sources
    • Focusing on Retention and email/SMS marketing
  6. Conclusion

Apple's iOS 14 and Its Impact on Facebook Ads

The release of Apple's iOS 14 brings significant changes to the way Facebook ads function. These changes, particularly in relation to user data and privacy, have raised concerns among advertisers and businesses alike. In this article, we will explore the proposed changes, how they affect Facebook ads, and what steps you can take to navigate through these changes successfully.

1. Introduction

As an ever-evolving digital marketer, it is crucial to stay ahead of the curve. With the release of iOS 14, Apple introduces changes that directly impact Facebook's ability to process and receive conversion events related to the Facebook pixel. This affects businesses that advertise mobile apps or leverage web conversion events such as page views, add to cart, initiate checkout, and purchase. In this article, we will delve into Apple's proposed changes, how they affect Facebook ads, and what you can do to adapt to this new landscape.

2. Apple's Proposed Changes for iOS 14

Apple's proposed changes for iOS 14 can be divided into two main sections: changes in the App Store and the introduction of App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

2.1 Changes in the App Store

Within the App Store, Apple is implementing a new privacy section within the app page itself. This privacy section aims to provide users with a clear understanding of what data will be collected and how it will be used. Apple's emphasis on user privacy is a growing concern, and it is essential for app developers to be transparent about the data they collect. It is predicted that these changes may lead to a drop in app installs as users become more cautious about data privacy.

2.2 App Tracking Transparency (ATT)

App Tracking Transparency is a feature introduced by Apple where users have the choice to enable or disable tracking when using apps that rely on user data for personalized ads. In previous years, users had the ability to turn off tracking, but it required navigating through settings. With ATT, the tracking choice is presented upfront, which has garnered more attention and concern. Apple believes that the user should have control over how their data is used for personalized ads, leading to a clash between Apple and Facebook.

3. How Apple's Changes Affect Facebook Ads

The impact of these changes on Facebook ads is significant, given Apple's substantial market share and the fact that Apple users are more likely to engage in social media and online shopping. Studies suggest that the opt-in rate for personalized ads may drop from around 100% to below 50%, a significant decrease that can have a substantial impact on revenue. Facebook has been vocal about the potential consequences of these changes, emphasizing the detrimental effect on small businesses.

3.1 Impact on Opt-In Rate for Personalized Ads

The drastic decrease in the opt-in rate for personalized ads poses a severe challenge for businesses relying on Facebook advertising. These personalized ads play a crucial role in targeting the right audience and driving conversions. With fewer users opting in for personalized ads, businesses may see a decline in their ad performance and, subsequently, their revenue.

3.2 Potential Revenue Cut for Small Businesses

Facebook estimates that the average small business could experience up to a 60% decrease in revenue per dollar spent on advertising. This significant drop is a direct result of the limitations and changes imposed by Apple's iOS 14. It is essential for businesses, especially small ones, to be prepared for this potential revenue cut and explore alternative strategies to mitigate the impact.

4. New Limitations for Facebook Ads

The new limitations introduced by Apple's iOS 14 have several repercussions for Facebook ads. These limitations affect campaign optimization, reporting, and the ability to break down ads for specific metrics.

4.1 Optimization for Conversion Events

Facebook's pixel will now only be able to optimize for a maximum of eight conversion events per domain, with all other events becoming unavailable for campaign optimization and reporting. Advertisers have the option to select the specific events they want to optimize for within the events manager.

4.2 Real-Time Reporting

Real-time reporting, an essential tool for making quick marketing decisions, will no longer be supported. Data may be delayed for up to three days, impacting a marketer's ability to respond promptly and make data-driven decisions.

4.3 Estimated Results based on Statistical Modeling

Due to users opting out of tracking, Facebook may estimate results based on statistical modeling. This approach aims to account for devices that have opted out but can result in under or over tracking when browsing campaign results. Marketers need to be aware of this potential discrepancy and consider it when interpreting their campaign's performance.

4.4 Removal of Breakdowns Delivery and Action

The removal of breakdowns delivery and action is another limitation imposed by iOS 14. Marketers will no longer have the ability to break down their ads by age, gender, region, or placement. This reduction in ad customization options can make it challenging to hone in on specific target audiences effectively.

4.5 Attribution Window Changes

iOS 14 sets the default attribution window to a seven-day click attribution window for all new and existing ad campaigns. This change intends to align with Apple's user privacy-focused approach. Furthermore, the attribution window for new campaigns will be set at the ad set level rather than the account level, making it necessary for marketers to adjust their strategies accordingly.

5. Adapting to the Changes

To navigate through these significant changes and maintain a successful advertising strategy, marketers should consider taking specific steps to adapt.

5.1 Verifying Your Business's Domain

Facebook recommends verifying your business's domain to avoid any future disruptions. By verifying your domain, you establish trust and credibility, ensuring that your ads continue to perform seamlessly.

5.2 Diversifying Traffic Sources

In light of the potential impact on Facebook ads, it is essential to diversify your traffic sources. Relying solely on one platform can be risky if that platform becomes too expensive or loses popularity. Exploring alternative platforms such as Google, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, or even Reddit can provide new avenues for reaching your target audience.

5.3 Focusing on Retention and Email/SMS Marketing

Retention strategies become even more critical as customer acquisition costs rise. Email and SMS marketing remain powerful tools for engaging with your audience and driving conversions. By focusing on boosting the lifetime value of your customers and building a strong relationship through personalized communication, you can offset some of the challenges posed by Apple's iOS 14 changes.

6. Conclusion

Apple's iOS 14 brings significant changes to the digital advertising landscape, particularly impacting Facebook ads. As a digital marketer, staying informed and adaptable is crucial in navigating through these changes successfully. By understanding Apple's proposed changes, the implications for Facebook ads, and implementing strategies to adapt, you can continue to thrive in the evolving digital marketing scene. It is undoubtedly a challenging landscape, but with the right approach, businesses can continue to drive success in their marketing efforts.

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