What Does the iOS 14 Facebook Rollout Mean for Your Business?

Arcane Blog Post

What Does the iOS 14 Facebook Rollout Mean for Your Business?

What Does the iOS 14 Facebook Rollout Mean for Your Business?

Well, the time has come. In early spring Apple is releasing iOS 14.5, an update to the current iPhone operating system that will impact the advertising capabilities on Facebook and other digital channels. According to stat counter, 70% of Facebook users have been operating mobile devices over the past 3 months. Considering 45% of mobile devices are Apple, the impact of these changes to the industry could be monumental. 

So, what does this mean for us digital marketers? These changes are coming now, and we need a plan to advertise to our target market at a broader level and optimize and/or measure web events in new ways.

What Will This Look like for Facebook Users?

Soon we can expect Apple to require a prompt to be shown within Facebook and Instagram (as well as all other apps, see below) to give users more control over how much of their personal data is collected across these platforms.

Apple’s iOS 14 privacy prompt

Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 privacy prompt. Image: Search Engine Journal

Why Is This Happening?

Apple prioritizes the user experience — that’s why they’re the powerhouse that they are. They’ve believe in anonymizing personal data and have been pressuring other large companies to follow suit for a long time. Apple CEO Tim Cook posted on Twitter, “We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used”. 

With a constantly evolving digital landscape, this will not be the last change we’ll see with the aim of protecting users and limiting the data the advertising industry has access to. However, the team at Arcane has solutions and processes to ensure that we’re ahead of the change.

What the Facebook iOS Changes Mean for Your Business

We can expect advertisers in niche industries to be more affected by this than others. Small businesses will, unfortunately, take a big hit as they already tend to be quite limited with social marketing resources like budget, access, and time. As Facebook users will soon have the option to opt-in or out of this prompt, we suspect that audience pools will deplete. For example:

Small Local Businesses

  • If you previously drove 1,000 people to your checkout page, you may now only be able to access 50% of them due to opt-outs. We suggest expanding your audiences as soon as possible to ensure that you do not miss out on reaching potential customers. 

Larger E-commerce Businesses 

  • This will inevitably hinder businesses’ ability to capitalize on audience scale. We can also expect e-commerce clients to face difficulties as they rely heavily on specific audiences that take actions on their site. We recommend setting up detailed UTM parameters on your ads to ensure that the customer journey of your audience is properly/accurately reported on. 

To further illustrate the point of how this change will impact businesses we have provided a quantitative prediction model. Let’s assume we generate 1,000 sessions from Facebook iOS ad clicks in a given month and a 3% conversion rate with an average purchase value of $100 from these clicks (around 30 conversions/$3,000 value). If 80% of eligible users move to iOS 14 that takes potential sessions down to 800. From that 800 – if we suspect 75% of users opt out of tracking that takes core sessions down to 200 sessions. Let’s assume our conversion rate is still 3% that leads to 6 conversions with a total value of $600.

We have put together three key sections where we expect major changes to be prominent. 

1. Advertising Tool Set-up

We will now be limited to 8 conversion events (standard and customer) per domain for those who ‘opt-in’. Alternatively, ’ we won’t be able to track or report on the full online consumer journey for users who have chosen to ‘opt-out. Therefore, we will only be able to record one optimization event that is deemed the most valuable. For example, if an individual completes multiple events (i.e. ‘view content’ -> ‘add to cart’ -> ‘purchase’), the higher prioritized event (for instance: purchase) will be recorded. 

For example:

Web screenshot

2. Optimizing and Targeting

We can expect these changes to affect how we optimize and target, which will innately affect delivery. There will be a big effect on audience sizes, as we can expect to see audience pools deplete now that  individuals have the option to opt-out of prompts. Another result of these changes will affect how we optimize. For example, if an event is changed while the campaign is live (example: from ‘submit application’ to ‘complete registration’), there will be a 72-hour grace period before campaigns start delivering with these changed events. 

3. Measurement

Rather than having further visibility into attribution windows, advertisers will only be able to view a 7-day click-through period. Conversions will also be delayed in the platform, taking up to 24-48 hours to report an offsite conversion. Advertisers can no longer break down specific demos (age, gender, and region) to delivery and action. However, we can still expect to see demos based on specific metrics (but not those that pertain to purchase).

How Advertisers can prepare for the iOS Facebook privacy change: 

  1. Verifying your website’s domain(s) in Facebook’s platform. 
  2. Define which 8 optimization events to measure and report on 
  3. Anticipate the change of attribution windows and download historical data
  4. Ensure your campaigns can measure attribution via UTM codes. 
  5. Research and understand your target market

We’re Here to Help

The Facebook iOS 14.5 rollout will shake up the entire industry. But we at Arcane have been busy preparing our clients to succeed in the face of these changes. By adapting and evolving our approach to combat Apple’s privacy crack-down, we’re able to implement solution-oriented strategies that work. Want on board? Get in touch.

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Jess Seger

Jess is a Paid Social Specialist in Arcane’s Calgary office. When she isn’t carving out innovative social strategies for our clients, you can find her shredding it on the slopes.