Facebook & Apple’s iOS 14 update - with a side of what you can do to prepare.

On the menu this month, things are getting spicy as Apple and Facebook squabble over privacy & data. Find out how the looming iOS 14 updates being rolled out by Apple may impact you as a digital marketer.

Before we delve too deep into this saucy topic it’s important to note:

●      It’s unknown exactly when these changes are going to be actioned

●      DataSauce is continuing to learn and make changes as more news on the update develops

In June last year, Apple announced that its iOS 14 updates will result in a number of changes.

The biggest change causing a commotion in the digital marketing world is that the iOS 14 update will require all apps on their App Store to show an App Tracking Transparency prompt (ATT) (you can add this to the list of acronyms you’ll never remember). It’s something that users can opt-in or opt-out from and whilst having its benefits for users, it’s going to cause some significant changes to the way Digital Marketers track and record data.

The issue with this is Facebook’s ability to use and distribute data from iOS 14 users who opt-out via the ATT becomes significantly limited.  

In response to Apple’s updates, Facebook is going to start processing pixel conversion events from iOS devices using Aggregated Event Measurement. This is in an attempt to assist advertisers in reaching their goals of preserving user privacy and running effective campaigns.

The update requires apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data. Doesn’t seem like much but just like the first domino in the line, this is one small change, that’s leading to one big impact!

An example of the pop-up notification

So what’s the big deal?  

Apple’s policy will result in certain data collection and sharing methods being restricted unless users choose to opt into tracking via the prompt. (Which seems unlikely.)  

As the number of people not electing to let an app track them increases, our ability to report on performance and our ad personalisation capability will decrease.

What’s going to be affected?

Facebook Pixel Events

Facebook will be limiting its pixel events to 8 per domain. As a result, advertisers will have a reduced understanding of the actions people take on their website. As more people opt-out of tracking, data received from pixel events such as purchases, add to carts and lead submissions won’t be recorded to the same level of detail.  

Notably, pixel events will still be sent to the Events Manager but only 8 can be used for optimisations. The events that aren't in the top 8 priority can still be used to create custom audiences in future campaigns.

Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are the most relevant to your business based on your activity. All other events will be made inactive for campaign optimisation and reporting.

Subsequently, the following ad objectives will be affected;

●      App installs

●      Lead generation

●      Conversions

●      Catalog Sales


A result of the pixel modifications is that the audiences that are created based on pixel events and retargeting audiences may potentially reduce in size, as gradually less data will be recorded about them.

As more devices update to iOS 14, the size of your retargeting audiences may decrease.

What do these changes mean for advertisers?


This is the big one. Firstly, real-time reporting will be impacted as data may be delayed up to 3 days. Secondly, we will no longer be able to see breakdowns such as age, gender and region within the ad platform. This means that it’ll be harder to identify trends and manually optimise campaigns. However, on the bright side, Facebook will automatically optimise campaigns towards those trends.

Managing expectations as these changes are implemented will be the key to success here. As reporting changes, it’s important to recognise that performance might not be dropping just the ability report on old benchmarks has changed.

The Attribution Window

Currently, There is a variety of attribution windows however, the  28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through will no longer be supported,  and will be changed for all users to the following options:

●      7-day click (the new default)

●      1-day click

●      1-day click and 1-day view

●      7-day click and 1-day view

That’s a big change from the window that we used to be able to report on. This is going to impact all e-commerce clients but will be more impactful if your customers spend more time thinking than buying (problematic the longer your product consideration period is!)

What can I do in preparation for this?

  1. Verify your domain in Facebook’s Business Manager: You can find our instructions on how to do this here.
  1. Plan to operate with 8 conversions per domain - Facebook recommends that you “identify the 8 conversion events most important to critical business outcomes and assess if changes need to be made to your campaign or measurement strategy.”
  1. Before the 28-day attribution windows become unavailable: Export any historical data and record any trends.

If there’s one thing digital marketing has taught us at DataSauce, it’s to expect the unexpected. Ultimately, customer behaviour isn’t changing it’s the way report that behaviour.

Whilst new information is still being provided surrounding the update, we have been preparing our staff and clients for this new wave of marketing.

Even though it might not seem like it immediately, change is good. If you’re not changing, you’re not growing! This isn’t the apocalypse, it’s digital marketing! This sauce is about to get a lot spicier 🔥🔥

For more information: click here

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