Digital Marketing News

How the Apple iOS 14 New Policy May Affect Your Ads and Reporting

Apple has announced new changes with iOS 14 that will affect how advertisers receive and process conversion events from tools such as the Facebook pixel. Companies that advertise mobile apps and businesses that optimize, target, and report on web conversion events such as eCommerce transactions from Facebook ads platforms will be affected.

What Changes Has iOS 14 Released?

Apple will start requiring apps in the App Store that engage in what Apple determines as “tracking” to show a prompt to iOS 14 users and ask the users if they’d permit opt-in tracking on their devices. If users don’t opt-in tracking via the prompt, Apple’s policy will prohibit advertisers from collecting and sharing certain data. It’s highly likely that many iOS 14 users will opt out of tracking on their iOS 14 devices, which will significantly affect ads personalization and performance reporting for both app and web conversion events.

To counteract these changes, Facebook will start processing pixel conversion events from iOS 14 devices using Aggregated Event Measurement

Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement allows for measurement of web events from iOS 14 or later devices. Here is what you can do to prepare so that you can continue to deliver and measure the performance of your campaigns.

If you plan to deliver ads optimized for conversion events that occur in your business app, you can update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1 to help personalize ads delivered to iOS 14 users, and continue to receive app conversion events reporting. You can do this from Facebook Events Manager and will need to be an app admin to do so. Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1 currently supports Apple’s SKAdNetwork API and enables measurement for app install ads. If you don’t have the latest version of our SDK installed, you won’t be able to track app installments from app campaigns.

If you plan to deliver ads optimized for conversion events that occur on your business website:

  • You should verify your website’s domain to help avoid any future disruption of your website campaigns. Businesses can claim ownership of their domains in Business Manager.
  • Configure 8 prioritized web conversion events per domain in Events Manager. Aggregated Event Measurement limits domains to 8 conversion events that can be prioritized for campaign optimization. Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are the most relevant to your business based on your activity.

Ad creation limitations

You can use your existing ad accounts to advertise to iOS 14 users, but you’ll need to create separate iOS 14 app install campaigns due to reporting limitations from Apple’s SKAdNetwork API. The following are additional limitations that you’ll need to consider.

If you plan to deliver ads optimized for conversion events that occur in your business’s app:

  • You can only associate your app with a single ad account. However, you can use the same ad account to advertise for multiple apps. Each app is limited to 9 iOS 14 campaigns at once. Each campaign is limited to 5 ad sets of the same optimization type. You can’t vary your optimization choice across ad sets in the same campaign.
  • There is a 72 hour reset period after you turn off or delete one of your 9 permitted iOS 14 campaigns before it will no longer count against your limit. This will help minimize the risk of incorrect campaign optimization and reporting due to the delayed reporting of conversion event data from Apple’s SKAdNetwork API.
  • Auction is the only available buying option when you create an ad for iOS 14 devices, Reach and Frequency are not available. Once your campaign is published, you can’t turn on or turn off the iOS 14 campaign toggle. You’ll have to turn off or delete your campaign.

If you plan to deliver ads optimized for conversion events that occur on your business’ website:

  • You can only prioritize up to 8 unique conversion events per website domain. Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are the most relevant to your business based on their activities. However, you can edit your 8 prioritized conversion events in your web event configuration in Events Manager. Ad sets optimizing for events not prioritized for iOS 14.5 or later devices can be used for campaign optimization, but will have limited delivery and reporting. The following limitation applies to both website event conversion and iOS 14 app campaigns:
  • You can use the following campaign bid strategies: lowest cost, cost cap, minimum ROAS or bid cap.

Reporting limitations

Under Apple’s new policy, businesses will be limited in their ability to measure the performance of iOS 14 app install campaigns on Facebook. For iOS 14 app install campaigns, reporting will need to rely on data from Apple’s SKAdNetwork API for mobile app installs and other app conversion events. Similar limitations will apply to the measurement of some web conversion events because of reporting limitations of iOS 14 devices.

The following limitations are expected across Ads Manager, Ads Reporting, and the Ads Insights API.

Delayed reporting:

  • Real-time reporting will not be supported, and data may be delayed up to 3 days.
  • For iOS 14 app install campaigns, conversion events will be reported based on the time that they are reported to Facebook by the SKAdNetwork API and not the time they occur.
  • Web conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of the associated ad impressions.
    Estimated results: For iOS 14 app install campaigns, the SKAdNetwork API will report results to Facebook, aggregated at the campaign level. Statistical modeling may be used to account for results at the ad set and ad levels, unless the campaign is composed of a single ad set and ad.
  • For web conversion events, statistical modeling may be used to account for conversions from iOS 14 users. No support for breakdowns: For both app and web conversions, delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, region, and placement will not be supported.

Changes to account attribution window settings:

Once Apple enforces their iOS 14 requirements, the attribution window for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at the ad set level, rather than at the account level. The new ad set attribution setting can be accessed during campaign creation. This ad set level attribution setting ensures that the conversions measured are the same ones used to inform campaign optimization, and will allow for increased flexibility and clarity when analyzing ad performance. In addition, the default for all new or active ad campaigns (other than iOS 14 app install campaigns) will be set at a 7-day click attribution window. iOS 14 app install campaigns will report based on the attribution window provided by Apple’s SKAdNetwork API.
Going forward, 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported for active campaigns.
However, inactive campaigns will still report using the legacy account level attribution window, and historical data for the attribution windows that are no longer supported will continue to remain accessible via our Ads Insights API. After these changes take effect, except for iOS 14 app install campaigns and automated rules, the default 7-day click attribution window can be modified by you to one of the other windows that are still supported. The following windows will be supported under the new attribution setting:

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