Navigating Facebook’s iOS14 Updates

No items found.

What's changing? 

Increased privacy requirements in Apple's iOS 14 will have a significant impact on data collection, targeting and tracking across the advertising ecosystem. On January 7th, Facebook shared its updated response to the iOS 14 release, including more detail on sweeping changes Facebook is making to its ad platform to comply with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. ATT requires all iOS apps to receive explicit opt-in from users in order to share their device identifier for advertisers (IDFA). Apple’s previous operating systems allowed apps to pass back a user’s IDFA for tracking and attribution unless the user manually opted out. Apple has delayed enforcement of the IDFA opt-in requirement due to the considerable engineering lift required for the millions of apps to comply, but it intends to begin enforcement sometime between February and March of 2021. 

Due to an expected drop in volume of IDFA-based matched users, Facebook has built a framework, called Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM), to maintain support for advertisers’ tracking, attribution and measurement needs on its platform.

As a Facebook Marketing Partner, Kepler has been at the forefront of these tracking developments and is analyzing Facebook’s platform changes to assess impact for our clients. Although Apple still hasn’t announced exactly when enforcement of ATT will begin, it is extremely important for advertisers to adapt to these updates now to mitigate the impact of changing data collection and performance reporting.

This guide will help web and app advertisers understand the upcoming changes, how they should prepare, and what information is still pending to more completely understand the impact of Facebook’s measurement roll out.

Key terms to know

As with anything in ad-tech, knowing the jargon is half the battle. Below is a cheat sheet for the relevant terminology to understand Facebook’s platform changes. 

  • IDFA/MAID - ID for Advertisers (IDFA) is Apple’s name for their Mobile Ad ID (MAID). It is the consistent device identifier that enables user-based targeting and measurement. Facebook has used IDFA, at least in part, to provide user-level targeting and attribution on Apple mobile devices. (Link)
  • App Tracking Transparency (ATT) - Also referred to as “the prompt”, this is Apple’s new app-based protocol that requires all apps to obtain users’ permission to collect their IDFAs for tracking purposes. It is expected that only about 20% of users will opt in to sharing their IDFA, and complying with ATT is required for all iOS apps, including Facebook. (Link)
  • Private Click Measurement (PCM) - Apple’s new web-based attribution protocol, which restricts certain mobile-web user data from being shared across platforms. Most notably for Facebook, this protocol would hinder its ability to attribute web conversions to clicks in Instagram or the Facebook app as well as conversions across domains. (Link)
  • Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) - AEM is Facebook’s in-house measurement approach, built as an alternative to fully adopting Apple’s PCM approach. AEM maintains support for app-to-web attribution and cross-domain measurement while remaining compliant with the requirements of PCM. (Link)
  • SKAdNetwork - StoreKit Network is Apple’s proprietary app measurement framework and the only method to handle tracking if a user opts out from sharing their IDFA. It includes various privacy methods including limited event detail and randomized data delays to prevent connecting users to conversions tracked through other tools. (Link)
  • Partial vs. Modeled - As users begin to opt out of being tracked, Facebook will no longer report on every event a user completes. Instead, it will report just the most important event set by the advertiser. Facebook will include platform flags to show when a metric is ‘partial’ (when reporting does not include all events from iOS 14 users) and ‘modeled’ (when Facebook applies additional modeling to arrive at a probabilistic conversion total). (Link)
  • Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) - An MMP is a 3rd party platform that many app-based advertisers use to collect and organize in-app events and attribute them across the channels that they have live. The attribution is done through a software development kit (SDK), which is the technology installed in the advertiser’s app code that collects the data that measures their users’ behavior signals. 

The most significant effects

  • More limited, delayed and aggregated reporting - Facebook is introducing new limitations to data collection including: reducing the number of available optimization events from hundreds down to eight per domain; removing detailed demographic breakdowns; constricting attribution windows, and introducing delayed, modeled and partial conversion reporting to replace what has historically been a full-scale, realtime ad measurement ecosystem.
  • New performance baselines - Driven by Facebook’s structural changes, historic performance trends will not be comparable with new performance baselines. While the true incrementality of Facebook ads may be unaffected, advertisers will experience a considerable disruption in analyzing trend data.
  • Reduced audience scale and/or accuracy - IDFA opt outs will reduce the ability to identify and exclude site visitors, past converters, and other strategic groupings, increasing contamination across remarketing and prospecting audiences and reducing scale in remarketing strategies.

Facebook’s updates will affect all advertisers on the platform, and this checklist will help prepare for these changes in the short-term. However, even with all of the information Facebook has provided, there are still unanswered questions, such as “What percent of my iOS users will opt-out of sharing their IDFA?” or “What methodology will Facebook use for modeled conversions?”. The answers will only start to reveal themselves when Apple begins to enforce the ATT prompt, until which there are plenty of steps advertisers can begin to take now to develop measurement, targeting and optimization strategies that are compatible with Facebook’s platform updates. At Kepler, we will be continuously monitoring updates and will provide more information as it becomes available. Please contact marketing@keplergrp.com if you have any questions related to the IDFA update.

Next steps for web-based advertisers

Configure your pixel-based events

As part of Facebook’s AEM protocol, advertisers will be limited to eight events per domain. While no changes are required for  pixel tracking code on a brand’s site, in Facebook Events Manager, advertisers will be prompted to select preferred events for reporting and optimization and to rank those events in order of priority. If a user opts out, Apple’s replacement technology will still allow for the highest priority event to be tracked. More detailed instructions are available via this link

Identify which ad sets are most vulnerable to optimization and targeting changes

Apple’s ATT framework will limit certain ad set features, specifically: 

  • Demographic and Interest Targeting - expect low impact, as Facebook’s current audiences do not rely heavily on off-Facebook data signals
  • Remarketing Audiences - expect audience scale to drop as opted-out users will no longer be addressable in custom pixel-based audiences
  • Value-Based Optimization - granular revenue data currently used for ROAS-based optimization will be aggregated, reducing precision

Check if your desired attribution window will still be supported

Upon enforcement of Apple’s ATT framework, Facebook will only support up to 7-day post click and 1-day post view attribution windows. 28-day click, 28-day view and 7-day view attribution windows will no longer be available, so advertisers using these windows will see significantly fewer Facebook conversions in reporting. More information about Facebook’s attribution updates can be found here.

Review your test & learn plan

Due to the reduced granularity SKAdNetwork provides, Facebook will no longer be able to support A/B testing below the campaign level. This means that any lift tests or creative tests will no longer be available at the ad or ad set level.

Verify your domain

This is a required step that advertisers can take now. Instructions can be found via this link.

Adopt Conversions API wherever possible

Conversions API is an alternative to the pixel, that allows advertisers to pass consented user data to Facebook. This method enables event matching by leveraging PII-based identifiers, instead of cookies, brands collect from key conversions or logged in users. Adopting the Conversions API requires additional engineering, especially if a brand is not currently using a customer data platform (CDP) or ecommerce integration. That said, it will significantly help as an alternative to id-based event tracking from environments with technical limitations, such as iOS 14. More information from Facebook can be found here.

Next steps for app-based advertisers

Ensure your app adheres to the ATT framework

Apple will require that all app developers who wish to be available on iOS App Store, regardless of whether they advertise on Facebook, install the ATT prompt to allow users to opt in or out of sharing their IDFA. 

Decide on Facebook SDK, App Events API, or MMP

Where third parties such as Facebook were previously able to track app-based events, app event tracking on iOS 14 will only be available through SKAdNetwork. To “pass” these in-app conversion events to Facebook for optimization and reporting, advertisers will have to use one of these three methods.  See Facebook’s Business Manager site for helpful information. 

  • MMPs will have visibility across multiple ad networks beyond just Facebook. For advertisers where in-app events make up a majority of their conversions, it may be best to use a Facebook approved MMP. The downside is that onboarding an MMP brings an incremental cost.
  • Facebook’s SDK allows for easier technical setup and integrates app installs and in-app events into Events Manager. This solution may be preferable for advertisers who spend a majority of their ad dollars on Facebook and are looking for a cost-efficient solution.   
  • App Events API is Facebook’s product to receive app event data directly from an advertiser’s server and use it for reporting, optimization and audience building. Under the new iOS 14 framework, advertisers who go this route will have to set up their own SKAdNetwork instance to track app installs. This option may be preferable for advertisers interested in a direct integration with SKAdNetwork rather than going through a third party SDK. This option also requires more technical work to configure all app events into Facebook.

Configure your post-install events in Facebook

The app event tracking option an advertiser selects will determine the technical work required to configure conversion schema. More information on configuring your conversion schema can be found here.

Prepare for limited, delayed, and aggregated reporting

App advertisers will face more limitations around reporting in Facebook. Upon enforcement of iOS 14 privacy guidelines, Facebook will be required to model conversion totals at the ad and ad set level, and it will have to wait up to 3 days after a conversion takes place to receive data for that conversion. More detail on these app reporting limitations in Facebook can be found here

Create a plan for reduced app install campaign availability

Each advertiser will be limited to 1 ad account, 9 campaigns per account and 5 ad sets per campaign in order to measure app installs for iOS devices. Please note that, contrary to the original guidance from Facebook, it is no longer required to have a separate ad account dedicated solely to iOS app install. However, iOS app install ad sets will need to be in a standalone campaign, separate from Android and other operating system app install campaigns. More information can be found here

Navigating Facebook’s iOS14 Updates

Article Source Link

What's changing? 

Increased privacy requirements in Apple's iOS 14 will have a significant impact on data collection, targeting and tracking across the advertising ecosystem. On January 7th, Facebook shared its updated response to the iOS 14 release, including more detail on sweeping changes Facebook is making to its ad platform to comply with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. ATT requires all iOS apps to receive explicit opt-in from users in order to share their device identifier for advertisers (IDFA). Apple’s previous operating systems allowed apps to pass back a user’s IDFA for tracking and attribution unless the user manually opted out. Apple has delayed enforcement of the IDFA opt-in requirement due to the considerable engineering lift required for the millions of apps to comply, but it intends to begin enforcement sometime between February and March of 2021. 

Due to an expected drop in volume of IDFA-based matched users, Facebook has built a framework, called Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM), to maintain support for advertisers’ tracking, attribution and measurement needs on its platform.

As a Facebook Marketing Partner, Kepler has been at the forefront of these tracking developments and is analyzing Facebook’s platform changes to assess impact for our clients. Although Apple still hasn’t announced exactly when enforcement of ATT will begin, it is extremely important for advertisers to adapt to these updates now to mitigate the impact of changing data collection and performance reporting.

This guide will help web and app advertisers understand the upcoming changes, how they should prepare, and what information is still pending to more completely understand the impact of Facebook’s measurement roll out.

Key terms to know

As with anything in ad-tech, knowing the jargon is half the battle. Below is a cheat sheet for the relevant terminology to understand Facebook’s platform changes. 

  • IDFA/MAID - ID for Advertisers (IDFA) is Apple’s name for their Mobile Ad ID (MAID). It is the consistent device identifier that enables user-based targeting and measurement. Facebook has used IDFA, at least in part, to provide user-level targeting and attribution on Apple mobile devices. (Link)
  • App Tracking Transparency (ATT) - Also referred to as “the prompt”, this is Apple’s new app-based protocol that requires all apps to obtain users’ permission to collect their IDFAs for tracking purposes. It is expected that only about 20% of users will opt in to sharing their IDFA, and complying with ATT is required for all iOS apps, including Facebook. (Link)
  • Private Click Measurement (PCM) - Apple’s new web-based attribution protocol, which restricts certain mobile-web user data from being shared across platforms. Most notably for Facebook, this protocol would hinder its ability to attribute web conversions to clicks in Instagram or the Facebook app as well as conversions across domains. (Link)
  • Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) - AEM is Facebook’s in-house measurement approach, built as an alternative to fully adopting Apple’s PCM approach. AEM maintains support for app-to-web attribution and cross-domain measurement while remaining compliant with the requirements of PCM. (Link)
  • SKAdNetwork - StoreKit Network is Apple’s proprietary app measurement framework and the only method to handle tracking if a user opts out from sharing their IDFA. It includes various privacy methods including limited event detail and randomized data delays to prevent connecting users to conversions tracked through other tools. (Link)
  • Partial vs. Modeled - As users begin to opt out of being tracked, Facebook will no longer report on every event a user completes. Instead, it will report just the most important event set by the advertiser. Facebook will include platform flags to show when a metric is ‘partial’ (when reporting does not include all events from iOS 14 users) and ‘modeled’ (when Facebook applies additional modeling to arrive at a probabilistic conversion total). (Link)
  • Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) - An MMP is a 3rd party platform that many app-based advertisers use to collect and organize in-app events and attribute them across the channels that they have live. The attribution is done through a software development kit (SDK), which is the technology installed in the advertiser’s app code that collects the data that measures their users’ behavior signals. 

The most significant effects

  • More limited, delayed and aggregated reporting - Facebook is introducing new limitations to data collection including: reducing the number of available optimization events from hundreds down to eight per domain; removing detailed demographic breakdowns; constricting attribution windows, and introducing delayed, modeled and partial conversion reporting to replace what has historically been a full-scale, realtime ad measurement ecosystem.
  • New performance baselines - Driven by Facebook’s structural changes, historic performance trends will not be comparable with new performance baselines. While the true incrementality of Facebook ads may be unaffected, advertisers will experience a considerable disruption in analyzing trend data.
  • Reduced audience scale and/or accuracy - IDFA opt outs will reduce the ability to identify and exclude site visitors, past converters, and other strategic groupings, increasing contamination across remarketing and prospecting audiences and reducing scale in remarketing strategies.

Facebook’s updates will affect all advertisers on the platform, and this checklist will help prepare for these changes in the short-term. However, even with all of the information Facebook has provided, there are still unanswered questions, such as “What percent of my iOS users will opt-out of sharing their IDFA?” or “What methodology will Facebook use for modeled conversions?”. The answers will only start to reveal themselves when Apple begins to enforce the ATT prompt, until which there are plenty of steps advertisers can begin to take now to develop measurement, targeting and optimization strategies that are compatible with Facebook’s platform updates. At Kepler, we will be continuously monitoring updates and will provide more information as it becomes available. Please contact marketing@keplergrp.com if you have any questions related to the IDFA update.

Next steps for web-based advertisers

Configure your pixel-based events

As part of Facebook’s AEM protocol, advertisers will be limited to eight events per domain. While no changes are required for  pixel tracking code on a brand’s site, in Facebook Events Manager, advertisers will be prompted to select preferred events for reporting and optimization and to rank those events in order of priority. If a user opts out, Apple’s replacement technology will still allow for the highest priority event to be tracked. More detailed instructions are available via this link

Identify which ad sets are most vulnerable to optimization and targeting changes

Apple’s ATT framework will limit certain ad set features, specifically: 

  • Demographic and Interest Targeting - expect low impact, as Facebook’s current audiences do not rely heavily on off-Facebook data signals
  • Remarketing Audiences - expect audience scale to drop as opted-out users will no longer be addressable in custom pixel-based audiences
  • Value-Based Optimization - granular revenue data currently used for ROAS-based optimization will be aggregated, reducing precision

Check if your desired attribution window will still be supported

Upon enforcement of Apple’s ATT framework, Facebook will only support up to 7-day post click and 1-day post view attribution windows. 28-day click, 28-day view and 7-day view attribution windows will no longer be available, so advertisers using these windows will see significantly fewer Facebook conversions in reporting. More information about Facebook’s attribution updates can be found here.

Review your test & learn plan

Due to the reduced granularity SKAdNetwork provides, Facebook will no longer be able to support A/B testing below the campaign level. This means that any lift tests or creative tests will no longer be available at the ad or ad set level.

Verify your domain

This is a required step that advertisers can take now. Instructions can be found via this link.

Adopt Conversions API wherever possible

Conversions API is an alternative to the pixel, that allows advertisers to pass consented user data to Facebook. This method enables event matching by leveraging PII-based identifiers, instead of cookies, brands collect from key conversions or logged in users. Adopting the Conversions API requires additional engineering, especially if a brand is not currently using a customer data platform (CDP) or ecommerce integration. That said, it will significantly help as an alternative to id-based event tracking from environments with technical limitations, such as iOS 14. More information from Facebook can be found here.

Next steps for app-based advertisers

Ensure your app adheres to the ATT framework

Apple will require that all app developers who wish to be available on iOS App Store, regardless of whether they advertise on Facebook, install the ATT prompt to allow users to opt in or out of sharing their IDFA. 

Decide on Facebook SDK, App Events API, or MMP

Where third parties such as Facebook were previously able to track app-based events, app event tracking on iOS 14 will only be available through SKAdNetwork. To “pass” these in-app conversion events to Facebook for optimization and reporting, advertisers will have to use one of these three methods.  See Facebook’s Business Manager site for helpful information. 

  • MMPs will have visibility across multiple ad networks beyond just Facebook. For advertisers where in-app events make up a majority of their conversions, it may be best to use a Facebook approved MMP. The downside is that onboarding an MMP brings an incremental cost.
  • Facebook’s SDK allows for easier technical setup and integrates app installs and in-app events into Events Manager. This solution may be preferable for advertisers who spend a majority of their ad dollars on Facebook and are looking for a cost-efficient solution.   
  • App Events API is Facebook’s product to receive app event data directly from an advertiser’s server and use it for reporting, optimization and audience building. Under the new iOS 14 framework, advertisers who go this route will have to set up their own SKAdNetwork instance to track app installs. This option may be preferable for advertisers interested in a direct integration with SKAdNetwork rather than going through a third party SDK. This option also requires more technical work to configure all app events into Facebook.

Configure your post-install events in Facebook

The app event tracking option an advertiser selects will determine the technical work required to configure conversion schema. More information on configuring your conversion schema can be found here.

Prepare for limited, delayed, and aggregated reporting

App advertisers will face more limitations around reporting in Facebook. Upon enforcement of iOS 14 privacy guidelines, Facebook will be required to model conversion totals at the ad and ad set level, and it will have to wait up to 3 days after a conversion takes place to receive data for that conversion. More detail on these app reporting limitations in Facebook can be found here

Create a plan for reduced app install campaign availability

Each advertiser will be limited to 1 ad account, 9 campaigns per account and 5 ad sets per campaign in order to measure app installs for iOS devices. Please note that, contrary to the original guidance from Facebook, it is no longer required to have a separate ad account dedicated solely to iOS app install. However, iOS app install ad sets will need to be in a standalone campaign, separate from Android and other operating system app install campaigns. More information can be found here

More News from Kepler Group

Google Delays Deprecation of 3rd Party Cookies

Although advertisers have more time to prepare for the cookieless future, they should use the time wisely.

Read More

Preparing for the Cookieless Future: Data Clean Rooms

As the data landscape shifts towards a cookieless future, brands should consider data clean rooms to connect data sources for campaign optimtimization

Read More

Prime Day 2021: Key Takeaways

This Prime Day was Amazon's largest ever by volume of items sold. Our Prime Day 2021 summary digs into performance trends across client campaigns.

Read More

Test podcasts for your direct response campaign

As podcast grows & traditional channels decline, podcasts have advanced to meet the needs of advertisers across their media mix goals.

Read More

Augmented Insights make it easier to read the signals

The KIP Augmented Insights tool delivers a custom feed of automated campaign analyses, decreasing the time to generate actionable insights by 90%.

Read More

How DTC transformation drove +79% digital revenue

The pandemic turned digital transformation from a growth tactic to a necessity for survival. Learn from a brand that did it well.

Read More

Video is bigger than just TV. Plan accordingly.

It's time to plan TV and digital video holistically as consumers spend more viewing time on streaming TV.

Read More

Is it time to advertise on TikTok?

TikTok's scale and shoppable ad formats have attracted advertisers. But brands need smart targeting & custom creative to make an impact.

Read More

Preparing for Google’s simplified match types

In July, Google will make changes to keyword match type functionality so SEM results are more relevant for users. See what changes and how to prepare.

Read More

Google prioritizes responsive search ads

Google announced responsive search ads will be replacing expanded text ads (ETAs) as the new default ad type for Google search campaigns.

Read More

POV: Google’s latest privacy announcement

What Google’s decision not to adopt user-level IDs after third-party cookies are deprecated will mean for advertisers.

Read More

iOS 14.5 and the impact to the ad ecosystem

Why is everyone talking about iOS 14.5? Next week's update brings major changes to the ecosystem.

Read More

Your 2021 Prime Day Prep Checklist

Whether your brand sells on Amazon or simply advertises on the platform, the right preparation will be key to maximizing sales this Prime Day.

Read More

iOS 15: Bracing For Ad Impact Amid New Privacy Feature

Apple introduced new privacy features that will further impact how advertisers can use consumer data and targeting on Apple devices.

Read More

Marketing in a post-COVID world

Analyzing the impact of COVID across consumer patterns, media prices, and messaging to adjust to the new normal

Read More

Kepler at Home: Rick Greenberg

The sweet sound of teamwork.

Read More

Kepler at Home: Rebecca Ryan

Remember your own resilience

Read More

Assessing COVID-19’s impact on TV and OTT/CTV ecosystem

Highlighting expected challenges, opportunities and impacts.

Read More

Kepler at Home: Elizabeth Meola

Life in the little things.

Read More

Marketing for the common good

Marketers wield incredible power. With strategy, data, and technology, we create programs that influence people, shape opinions, and change behaviors.

Read More

Kepler at Home: Justin Sous

Staying close while physically apart

Read More

Tailoring video campaigns to business goals

As the video ecosystem expands, channel & partner complexity has become more difficult to navigate. Read about our recommended approach to video.

Read More

DV360 Custom Bidding drives up to +90% ROAS

For the past few months, Kepler has been participating in DV360’s Custom Bidding beta and have seen strong improvements on campaign performance.

Read More

Kepler University and "Graduate Level" programs expand

Kepler has recently expanded its rigorous homegrown training program, Kepler University, to 63 courses including 3 "graduate" tracks.

Read More

Digital pioneer Infectious Media joins Kepler Group

The deal creates an industry leader that helps marketers navigate the seismic, technology-driven changes impacting how brands connect with consumers.

Read More

Kepler Launches its 100th Amazon Advertising Client

Kepler just launched its 100th Amazon Advertising client. We're so proud to be delivering impact for Hanes, Zound, WD-40, and so many others.

Read More

Kepler appointed Tampa General AOR

Tampa General Hospital selects Kepler as its digital media agency and partner, responsible for its full digital media strategy & channel execution.

Read More