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How to Bypass the Apple iOS Update for Facebook Ads

Until March 2021, there were rumours as nobody had a complete idea or a clear picture of what Apple’s new app policies are or what their impact is going to be. Business marketers are experiencing the full effect, primarily through Facebook Ads, as these policies are officially implemented. It wasn’t a surprise as the environment of Digital Ads is dynamic and is subjected to constant changes and evolution. Whether it is new company policies or the government revises regulations, there were regular changes in the past and they will continue occurring in the future.

During the last year, Apple announced its plans for IDFA or Identifier for Advertisers, the latest update by the company for its operating System iOS. This announcement immediately caused a stir among marketers and businesses and brought Facebook advertisers into action. Though the launch was delayed from 2020 to 2021, the update was released in March 2021.

What is iOS 14.5 Update All About?

According to sources, the latest iOS 14.5 update offers the user an opt-in prompt message on every app to choose if they allow several third-party apps and websites such as Facebook to track their data and other details. About this update, Apple stated that this latest launch of IDFA or Apple ID for Advertisers would help advertisers measure their ads’ effectiveness accurately while tracking people and devices. Now let’s explore how the iOS 14.5 update exactly works!

This new update sends a pop-up message to the users if they want apps like Facebook and Instagram to track their devices, online activities, and other data. It is entirely up to users if they wish to have access to their online data or not. Since the announcement of the release of this update, Facebook has been regularly stating the impact of this update on the overall performance marketing workflow for agencies and brands as the update is directly affecting targeting, optimization, and reporting of different conversion campaigns. Keeping in mind this update, Facebook has altered attribution windows with new features, including:

  •  No more extended support toward 28-day attribution
  •  7-day click attribution will stay
  •  No longer support toward 7-day view-through attribution

Apart from this, Facebook marketers are expecting a reduction in the audience size, delays in the performance reports and several changes to Attribution Windows, and numerous changes to attribution window settings on the account level due to the 14.5 update. Now let’s understand this update in simpler terms. Let’s assume that a Facebook user receives a notification that his friends shared a link to your brand on their feed. This user has denied Facebook permission to track his device and data, and clicks on that link. Because of this update, neither your brand nor Facebook would find out or have any data about the user, links he has clicked on or any stuff he has bought on your brand’s website. The same is the case with apps and websites that are registered publishers in Facebook Audience Network. It may sound complicated and troublesome for Facebook advertisers; the key is all about navigating through this update carefully. 

Strategies You Can Use

To help you with this update, we have curated a couple of strategies to ensure that your Facebook ad campaigns remain unaffected.

Categorize audience targeting on the basis of iOS and Android users

The first and foremost step is to segregate the audience on the basis of iOS and Android users and targeting the Android audience only. This update will only impact the iOS audience. This update won’t impact users with Android devices, and Facebook can easily track their data and online activities. As a marketer, you would prefer tracking iOS and Android users, but the data received from iOS users would be skewed. The best strategy would be to work only with the Android data and segment all marketing campaigns for Android users. While creating campaigns for targeting different conversion events, click on Specific Mobile Devices & Operating Systems and select the Android Devices Only.

Prioritize the events according to their value

This update has made marketers prioritize their events according to their value. The first step is to select eight custom conversions and Facebook pixel events that are most valuable in terms of business goals, as Facebook will only get data from eight events. As a default setting, Facebook will choose these events on its own. To alter the selection or priority, click on Ads Manager and go to Events Manager. On the left side, click on the required pixel. Now click on Aggregated Event Measurement and select Configure Web Events. Now select the domain and then click Edit Events. From here, you can choose the events that you want to track. Click on Add Event and follow instructions to add events that you want to optimize. Here, it is vital to understand the importance of prioritizing events. When any user completes a couple of events on your website, only the events with the highest priority will be reported.

Verify the domain and enable the conversions API

Facebook has taken some steps to protect its ad marketers and has prepared them for this update. The Webmaster would give you a specific code to include in your domain. According to Facebook, this domain verification process will ensure that data from your pixels are delivered to Facebook accurately. This conversion APIs help provide signals from a company app or website. It doesn’t utilize cookies, so there isn’t any limitation on data gathering.

Enable VO or value optimization

Once the 14.5 updates are fully implemented, the number of users that Facebook will track will be less. To limit the impact of this update, Facebook has rolled out certain changes for ad marketers who can utilize value optimization. VO or value optimization permits ad advertisers to bid for users with higher chances of taking action on the website. In order to be eligible for this feature, the advertiser should fulfil the following requirements:

  • Have an SDK or software development kit
  • Prioritization of purchase events
  • Should have more than 100 optimized purchases in the last 10 days.
  • Should have more than 10 unique purchase amounts in the previous 7 days.

Once a marketer is eligible for this specific feature, he can use Events Manager to enable this feature.

Updating Facebook SDK

The latest iOS 14.5 version may impact the performance of Facebook ads and their measurements in apps. But according to Facebook, to mitigate these impacts, marketers should update their Facebook SDK for iOS to version 8.1 or any higher one. If you are using apps for advertising that require a Facebook login, by advise use version 9. By updating to version 8.1 or 9, marketers can keep on serving customized ads to app users even on iOS devices. Also, they can easily measure app installs while optimizing for VO and other app events.

Integrating retargeting practices and independent tracking

There are chances that some of the Facebook marketing campaigns may lose their effectiveness once the iOS 14.5 update is completely rolled out. Now is the time to start exploring other, different strategies to test the efficacy and performance of your ads in a new environment. Think about different events, audience definitions, and bid types that can be included in Facebook ad testing.

Now let’s answer the biggest question: What will be the real output of iOS 14.5 updates in terms of Facebook ad marketing, its impact on profits and campaigns? Well, for starters, this update will drastically decrease the costs of paid social campaigns. Several brands use paid social media marketing campaigns for short-term advantages, which will be a thing of the past with this update. However, brands and marketers, who stay around and utilize out-of-the-box strategies, are going to reap benefits that include lesser completion, lesser costs, and improved client relationships.

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