First of all, what are Apple’s iOS 14 updates?
iOS 14 is the latest update across Apple mobile devices. A new major update is released each year to keep up with consumer demand and changes to the way we use our mobile devices. These updates also come with a slew of privacy and data protection updates in response to new laws as well as changing environments and the constant demand for consumers to have control of their own data.
This year’s iOS 14 is much the same, although the slew of privacy updates is much bigger than we’ve seen in the past and will now be affecting the way we track results across our media campaigns. The iOS 14 update is handing control over to the consumer when data is concerned. Each individual that updates their mobile device to iOS 14 will have to opt-in to allow an application to view their data and how much of that data they want to be known.
For example, if you want to post a photo on Instagram via the mobile app, you now have two choices:
- Allow the Instagram app access to ALL of the photos in your Apple Photos app
- Allow the Instagram app access to just a select few photos for just that single use of the application
A similar approach is taken with the new Facebook app – when you log in after updating your device to iOS 14, you will need to allow the app to have access to the data on your device. If you don’t allow access, your experience across the Facebook app will be hindered but your data will be protected.
Before we dive into more changes and how they could possibly impact you, we should provide some statistics to lay the foundation of exactly how these changes will come into effect.
The below stats are put together by StatsCounter on users based on device operation system:
- US – 61.23% iOS / 38.59% Android
- UK – 51.64% iOS / 48.15% Android
- AU – 54.32% iOS / 45.29% Android
So, what exactly is going to change?
Remembering that this change is only going to affect those on the iOS 14 operating system on an Apple device, the following updates will come into effect shortly and largely affect Facebook & Instagram paid campaigns:
Tracking actions from Facebook Ads using the Facebook Tracking Pixel. Due to the change of data protection, tracking view-through impressions will become increasingly difficult outside of a 1-day view window and therefore will be underreporting. This means any purchases, leads, submissions, add to carts etc will be underreported as only click-through conversions within a 7-day click attribution window will be tracked accurately.
This also means that optimising these events will also become increasingly difficult across the mobile Facebook app as the pixel won’t be storing as much information and learning from the ad’s performance as often. How this changes the delivery of ads will be determined once the changes come into full effect.
Retargeting will change. Users on an iOS 14 device will not see your retargeting ads as often as usual since the pixel cannot store information on users that have visited your website and pass it onto the Facebook app.
Building look-alike audiences will change. Not being able to utilise the data stored within the Facebook Pixel from the Facebook App will mean building lookalike audiences will be slightly different and may not be as accurate.
App install campaigns. Facebook will no longer be able to optimise around app installs and send the data back to the pixel to allocate to a particular campaign. This will only affect campaigns designed to track app downloads.
What can I do to prepare myself and my campaigns?
The good news is that Facebook has already put measures in place to ensure all brands and their ad accounts are set up to run as smoothly as possible while the changes are implemented across devices. They have also already gone ahead and updated your campaigns to a 7-day click, 1-day view attribution model to ensure optimisations are accurate and the campaign can capture as much data as possible across the Facebook App on iOS 14 devices.
We’ll see the biggest changes across catalogue sales that aren’t click-through conversions, installs across app install campaigns, conversion campaigns optimised for more than 8 custom conversions and any consideration ads optimising to landing page views.
What is UEC doing to prepare for this?
The media team at UEC has undergone extensive training and consume all documents available from Facebook and Apple in order to prepare for the changes coming into place. We have also already gone ahead and set up your Facebook Ads Manager accounts to prepare for the changes in order to be able to accurately report on performance.
We are aware that once all changes are in place, we will see a drop in performance, but we are prepared to jump into these affected campaigns to optimise as best as possible to continue to drive results and performance across all campaigns.
It is also important to remember that these changes are only impacting a small piece of the media pie and part of a clear and concise media strategy is channel diversification. The full effect of these changes won’t be known until they are concrete changes, and we have time to adapt to them.
We’re prepared for this and have processes in place to keep you informed and up to date on campaign performance and any changes to your campaigns.