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Unveiling the Hidden Truth Behind IOS 14's Impact on Facebook Ads

Published on: November 17 2023 by Zaryn @ Market & Hustle

Unveiling the Hidden Truth Behind IOS 14's Impact on Facebook Ads

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Impact of iOS 14 on Facebook Ads
  3. Tracking Conversions from iOS Devices
    1. Difficulties in Tracking Conversions
    2. Decreased Performance of Facebook Ads
  4. Analysis of Facebook Advertising Clients
    1. Spend and Cost Per Acquisition
    2. Increase in Cost Per Acquisition
    3. Reduction in Conversions
  5. Understanding iOS Device Usage
    1. Opt-In Rate before iOS 14 Update
    2. Opt-In Rate after iOS 14 Update
    3. Reduction in Ability to Track Conversions
  6. Facebook's Response to the iOS 14 Changes
    1. Introduction of Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM)
    2. Investments in Signal Resilient Products
    3. Modeled Conversions
  7. Action Items for Advertisers
    1. Verify Domain and Prioritize Events
    2. Refresh Audiences Regularly
    3. Consolidate Audience Overlaps
    4. Exclude Lookalikes from Interest Campaigns
    5. Take Advantage of In-Platform Retargeting
    6. Utilize Conversions API
  8. Challenges for Performance Marketers
  9. Conclusion

Impact of iOS 14 on Facebook Ads

With the release of iOS 14, Facebook advertising has undergone significant changes. These changes primarily revolve around the tracking of conversions from iOS devices and have resulted in a decrease in the overall performance of Facebook ads. In this article, we will explore the implications of iOS 14 on Facebook ads and discuss the steps that advertisers can take to adapt to these changes.

Tracking Conversions from iOS Devices

Difficulties in Tracking Conversions

One of the major challenges faced by advertisers after the implementation of iOS 14 is the difficulty in tracking conversions from iOS devices. Apple introduced the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt, which allows users to opt out of being tracked by apps, including Facebook. As a result, Facebook now has limited visibility into conversions happening on iOS devices, leading to a decrease in the accuracy of conversion tracking.

Decreased Performance of Facebook Ads

The decreased ability to track conversions directly impacts the performance of Facebook ads. An analysis of Facebook advertising clients reveals that the cost per acquisition (CPA) has significantly increased since the introduction of the ATT prompt. In fact, on average, CPAs have become 2x more expensive. This increase in cost can be attributed to the 53% reduction in the number of iPhone devices opted into sharing data with the Apple Identifier.

Analysis of Facebook Advertising Clients

To understand the impact of iOS 14 on Facebook ads, an analysis of Facebook advertising clients was conducted. The analysis focused on the spend and cost per acquisition of these clients before and after the introduction of the ATT prompt.

Spend and Cost Per Acquisition

Before the ATT prompt, the cost per acquisition was relatively low, indicating favorable performance for Facebook ads. However, after the introduction of the ATT prompt, the cost per acquisition showed a significant increase. This increase is a direct result of the reduced ability to track conversions on iOS devices.

Increase in Cost Per Acquisition

The decreased performance of Facebook ads can be further observed in the increased cost per acquisition (CPA) metric. In the months following the introduction of the ATT prompt, the CPA rose significantly compared to previous months. This increase can be attributed to the reduced number of conversions that can be effectively tracked due to users opting out of being tracked on iOS devices.

Reduction in Conversions

The reduction in the number of conversions is a direct consequence of users opting out of being tracked on iOS devices. Before the iOS 14 update, there was an 80% opt-in rate for sharing data with the Apple Identifier. However, after the update, the opt-in rate dropped to about 38%. This translates to a 53% reduction in the number of iPhone devices in the United States that can be effectively tracked for conversions.

Facebook's Response to the iOS 14 Changes

Facebook, being heavily reliant on advertising revenue, has taken measures to address the challenges posed by the iOS 14 changes. These measures aim to enhance the effectiveness of Facebook ads and overcome the limitations imposed by iOS 14.

Introduction of Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM)

Facebook introduced the Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) protocol to empower advertisers with more data and optimize their ad campaigns. The AEM protocol allows for seven-day click attribution and one-day view attribution, providing advertisers with valuable insights into the performance of their ads.

Investments in Signal Resilient Products

To ensure the continued success of Facebook ads, Facebook has made significant investments in developing signal resilient products. These products, such as Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops, enable advertisers to capture valuable engagement data within the platform. By creating shops on Facebook and Instagram, advertisers can generate signals and retarget users without the need for external tracking methods.

Modeled Conversions

In situations where conversions cannot be directly tracked, Facebook utilizes its massive data set to model conversions. However, Facebook does not provide detailed information on how these modeled conversions are derived. As an advertiser, it is essential to understand that the modeled conversions might differ from the data observed in analytics platforms like Google Analytics.

Action Items for Advertisers

Advertisers need to adapt to the changes brought about by iOS 14 to optimize their Facebook ad campaigns. Here are a few action items to consider:

  1. Verify Domain and Prioritize Events: Ensure that your domain has been verified and prioritize the events that are critical for your campaign.

  2. Refresh Audiences Regularly: Refresh your retargeting audiences and look-alike audiences regularly to ensure you are targeting the most relevant users. Aim to refresh the data at least once a quarter.

  3. Consolidate Audience Overlaps: Identify and consolidate any overlapping audiences to avoid redundant targeting. Exclude your look-alike audiences from your interest campaigns to create more focused and efficient ad sets.

  4. Take Advantage of In-Platform Retargeting: Utilize in-platform retargeting capabilities offered by Facebook, such as Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops. These features allow you to build retargeting audiences based on user engagement within the platform itself.

  5. Utilize Conversions API: Consider implementing the Conversions API to capture conversion signals from users who may be using ad blockers or browsers that do not support traditional tracking methods.

Challenges for Performance Marketers

The changes brought about by iOS 14 pose significant challenges for performance marketers. The decrease in the ability to track conversions and the rise in costs make it crucial for marketers to adapt their strategies. While Facebook has taken steps to address these challenges, the industry as a whole is still navigating through this changing landscape.

Conclusion

The iOS 14 update has had a profound impact on Facebook ads, particularly in terms of tracking conversions and overall performance. Advertisers need to understand the implications of these changes and take proactive steps to optimize their ad campaigns. By following the suggested action items and staying informed about Facebook's updates, advertisers can continue to leverage the platform effectively in the face of evolving challenges.

Highlights

  • The introduction of iOS 14 has made tracking conversions from iOS devices difficult and has resulted in decreased performance of Facebook ads.
  • The cost per acquisition (CPA) has increased significantly since the implementation of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt.
  • The opt-in rate for sharing data with the Apple Identifier has reduced by 53%, leading to a reduction in the number of conversions that can be effectively tracked.
  • Facebook has responded to the iOS 14 changes by introducing Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) and investing in signal resilient products like Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops.
  • Advertisers can take action by verifying their domain, refreshing audiences regularly, consolidating audience overlaps, utilizing in-platform retargeting, and implementing the Conversions API.
  • Performance marketers face challenges in adapting to the changes brought about by iOS 14 but can navigate through them by following best practices and staying up to date with industry updates.

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