Lesson 5: The Impact of iOS 14 on Digital Advertising

The “much-awaited” iOS 14 has arrived. And it brings tons of new changes for online marketers, which include new limited ways of tracking and optimization, and the ability to create new advertising practices.

However, just like other changes, these changes also bring new opportunities that should be used wisely. So the key point here is to be as flexible as possible, and always keep an open mind for new changes.

  • What is changing?

Apple started to require that all app developers (like Facebook, Google, Snapchat…) comply with the new policies, which will affect the results of online marketers.

From now on app developers must:

  1. Provide users with information about their data collection practices.

  2. Ask users for permission before tracking them across different apps and sites owned by other companies.

  3. Only allow advertisers to track conversions from users who opt out of tracking by using privacy-centric solutions.

So the apps will no longer be able to pass along certain information which has traditionally been  used for ad optimization, targeting and tracking, if they don’t have permission from the users.

Apple will ask users to opt in or out of data tracking when they log into apps that engage in what Apple defines as “tracking.” According to Verizon Media-owned Flurry Analytics, almost everyone is saying “Don’t Allow.” Just around 4% of U.S. users have

Due to this, ad targeting will become less accurate, the conversion measurement will become less transparent and the costs will significantly increase.

  • How is this going to affect Facebook ads?

The Apple iOS 14 changes will affect how Facebook receives and processes conversion events from business tools, including the Facebook Pixel and Conversions API. In response to these changes, Facebook will also start processing website conversion events from iOS 14 devices using Aggregated Event Measurement. This supports efforts to preserve user privacy while allowing you to run effective campaigns.

Now, before running ads for a project, an advertiser should verify the domain where all the traffic is going to land. There are several ways of verifying domains with Facebook. You could add a DNS TXT entry to your DNS record and confirm that you are the owner of a particular domain. You could also upload a Facebook-provided HTML file to your web directory to do this.

To verify your domain, go to Business settings > Brand safety > Domains. Learn more about domain verification here.

From now on, there will be only 8 Pixel events available for optimization per each domain. And you will need to prioritize those events by importance.

The new default attribution window will make measurement a bit complicated as it will contribute to under-reporting on both organic and paid traffic. Attribution allows us to see the actions a user takes after clicking on an ad and before converting. The window of actions that we could previously collect data on was 28-days before the conversion, but this update minimizes the attribution to a 7-day window. This change will not affect the delivery or performance of ads, it will only have an impact on measurement.

The data reporting which comes from iOS 14.5 users will be shown with up to a 3-day delay. So if somebody purchased or subscribed to your landing page today, you’ll be able to see it in the Ads manager’s dashboard within the next 3 days.

The conversion event breakdowns will be removed, so you won’t be able to track the location, demographics and other breakdowns from your specific ads.

Though many platforms have expressed concerns, new solutions will arise. If you stay up to date with the latest options and news available, you can be among the first to adopt new technologies!

To keep you always informed and updated, we’re going to organize webinars where we will share our experiments and testing results based on these changes with you.