The new update for Apple phones comes with a heavy list of changes that will and have already started to affect your Facebook ads in many ways. Like any change to any advertising platform, it’s a good idea to stay ahead of the game and prepare for what will happen to your ads.
Facebook will begin to roll out an App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt to Apple device users over the coming weeks. These will be sent out in waves, so not all Apple device users will be hit at once. All Apple device users will automatically be opted-out of any form of off-platform tracking. Off-platform tracking is what many advertisers use to track actions made on a website with a Facebook pixel installed. This includes Page Views, Purchase, Sign Ups, Form Submissions, Add-To-Cart, Product Page Views and many more. The ATT prompt will ask if the user would like to opt-in to track their activity. If Apple device users choose to stay opted-out, Facebook will limit tracking data from actions performed on the site, meaning you won’t see that person’s specific tracking data on Facebook ads manager.
However, not all hope is lost. You still have the opportunity to track one action, and this depends on what you set your highest priority event as on Event Manager. Facebook now requires you to select a maximum of 8 events from highest to lowest priority. We recommend making the highest priority event your most valuable. If you’re running an e-commerce site, this would be purchase. If you’re running a service, this would most likely be a lead. If an Apple device user has opted-out, and they take an action that is set as your highest priority, in this case, a purchase or lead, that highest priority event will still be recorded and attributed to the ad on Facebook ads manager.
The way Facebook tracks users isn’t the only thing that has changed. Attribution has also taken a hit but not in the way you might think. You might already know that attribution has changed from 28-day click and 1-day view to 7-day click and 1-day view, but the way attribution is recorded has also changed. An action taken on-site will no longer be attributed to the first ad that the user clicked or viewed within the attribution window, which has been standard on Facebook ads since the start. Now, attribution of an action will be associated to the date the action was made. Delayed attribution is no longer the norm, and you won’t see an increase in purchases, or revenue after the window has closed. For example, using the previous attribution model, if a person saw your ad on a Monday, but then made a purchase later in the week on a Thursday, the purchase would be attributed to the ad shown on Monday. With the new change, the attribution would be shown on the day the purchase was made. This does make results easier to analyse but it could make future optimisation different to how you might already be doing them. You may find that you’re getting a more accurate representation of when a purchase was made but Facebook will not attribute ads from a previous time period.
You also won’t be able to compare your attribution window to previous larger windows as we had been able to in the past. 28-day click is gone forever, with no possibility of checking this data unless you download/export previous data. Attribution is no longer selected at the business settings stage. From now on, your attribution will be selected at the ad set level for each individual ad, meaning you can select different attributions for different ad sets when you please.
Say goodbye to the long list of events tracking you have installed. Facebook is limiting your events to a solid 8 with the option of sorting them in a list of highest priority to lowest priority. This stage is super important as you will need to identify your most valuable events and place them in a list of how important they are to your account. The reason for doing this as explained earlier in the article is that Facebook will still be able to track and attribute your highest event to an ad from opt-out users, meaning if purchase is your end goal, you will still be able to see this result in ads manager. The downside is that you will not be able to track how many people added an item to cart, viewed a product, or put in their information if they opted out of tracking. If users opted in, then you will still see everything appear as normal.
You will notice that as the ATT prompt begins to roll out, your audience sizes will begin to decrease from detailed targeting, lookalike, and custom audiences. Fewer people will be available to target and considering iOS users take up a large chunk of Facebook users, audience sizes may take a huge hit. You might have a few ideas such as “should I only target Android users instead?” or “should we split out Android and Apple users into different ad sets?” our initial response is a flat-out no. Reasons being that not every Apple user will choose to opt-out, many will still opt-in, but you also don’t want to spread your budget so thin if it means having to split out your current ad sets even further. There’s no harm in testing this if you have the budget, but if you’re working with tight budgets, we recommend keeping things stable. Don’t make drastic changes to your ads based on one day of data.
Pixel-based custom audiences will be tougher to fill but that doesn’t mean you should give up entirely. CRM lists won’t be affected meaning you can still create lists for remarketing purposes of details you’ve gathered for your business. You will still have the opportunity to create custom audiences based on Facebook data such as page or ad engagers, length of videos watched, or lead forms filled. There are plenty of data points available at your fingertips that include vital information for you to implement, so don’t think that retargeting is over. Facebook still has one of the best retargeting tools than any other social platform.
Even with the change of permissions, attributions, and event limitations, it does not mean that you should stop advertising completely. There are many other options available on the Facebook platform that are just as good as off-platform tracking; however, it will mean that you may have to implement new approaches and become more creative with the options at your disposal. This is by no means the end, and we’re sure there will be new ways to advertise in the future as the marketing space is an ever-changing industry. For more info about paid social, check out more of our Koozai blogs.