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30 June 2021 / Opinion

How does Apple’s iOS 14 release affect advertisers?

Olivia Webster / Programmatic & Paid Social Specialist

Apple has announced three new policies in line with its latest iOS 14 update which will take full effect in January 2021. The policies will affect the way apps collect and use data in three ways:

  1. Data Nutrition Label: All apps must submit information about their app’s data collection practices via Apple’s Store Connect
  2. Tracking Transparency Prompt: App Store apps, including social and search platforms, must ask users for permissions to track them across third-party apps and website through Apple’s App tracking transparency (ATT) framework known as ‘the prompt’
  3. Tracking Via App/Browser API’s: Platforms will need to use a new framework that restricts, aggregates and delays event reporting



What does this mean for apps?

Any apps that do not comply with these new policies will be removed from the app store. As a result, Facebook will be adopting these measures which will have a knock-on effect for advertisers campaigns.

Apple’s PCM (Private Click Measurement) does not support the following:

  • App-to-web conversions measurement: When a user clicks on an ad within a platform, such as Facebook, and gets taken to a website to purchase a product or service
  • Cross-domain measurement: Brands that are running across different domains won’t be able to track purchases from different domains. For example, if a user clicks on an ad that is on one domain but redirected to another domain (potentially due to location) that conversion will not be tracked

As the changes tend to focus on the use of apps, app installs and in-app event campaigns are the ones most heavily affected. But as Facebook and Instagram (and other social networks) are apps too, it does also affect web-based campaigns.



What does this mean for our campaigns?

This will ultimately affect the way we collect and use data within these platforms.

Users will have the option to opt-in and opt-out of tracking. If a user opts out of the data collection, we will be unable to track results that come through from those users. If a user opts-in, we will only be able to track a limited number of events.

Whether a user opts-in or out, campaigns will be affected due to changes in the way Apple passes back data to Facebook. This will happen in three main ways:

  1. Data will be restricted – there will be less data being passed back
  2. Data will be aggregated – user-level reporting will not be supported
  3. Data will be delayed – there will be a delay of between 24 and 48 hours from when the event happened to be passed back to Facebook

This will impact campaigns and we have pulled out the key ones we expect to see as this change is rolled out:

  • Fewer reported conversions
  • Opted-in users can only be tracked through 8 events per domain
  • Opted-out users can only be tracked for 1 event
  • Custom audiences’ sizes will reduce (this may affect lookalike audiences and exclusions)
  • Platform auctions could become more expensive
  • Default attribution window will change to a 7-day post-click and 28-day attribution is no longer supported
  • Reporting limitations such as delayed reporting, modelled results and age, gender, region and placements breakdowns will become unavailable



Is there anything we need to do now?

This is a developing story and further updates will come out, but for now the key actions to take are:

  1. Verify your website domain – Make sure within these platforms your website domain is verified. This can usually be found in business settings and under brand safety
  2. Choose the top 8 events – Select the top 8 events you wish to track based on your KPIs and potentially future campaigns e.g. page view, add to cart, purchase, lead, etc.
  3. Rank events in order – After choosing your final 8, rank these in order of importance based on current campaigns and key information you want or need to track

Need more advice?

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