Last April, Apple’s iOS 14.5 update started to be rolled out to iPhone users, which impacted how users shared their data with third-party apps. The results have already showing a significant impact on the ad industry, with Facebook predicting a slow in their revenue growth as a result.
We take a closer look at last year’s update, what has changed since its rollout, and what can advertisers do to mitigate the impact further.
What actually happened?
Before the update rolled out, there was a lot of uncertainty about precisely what the impact would be and how many people would choose to opt into sharing their data. In this respect, not much has changed, with estimates still varying anywhere between 4% and 40%. It’s likely the truth lies somewhere in the middle, although some advertisers will be more impacted than other depending on who their target audience is.
This data loss can be somewhat mitigated by ensuring your domains are verified and your events are configured correctly to enable Facebook’s aggregated events measurement to estimate the missing data. However, this means it can now take slightly longer to gauge how well a campaign is doing. Purchases from the aggregated events measurement can take an additional three days to appear within your ad account, requiring a slight shift in how we plan and manage campaigns.
What can I do?
Facebook has long been encouraging advertisers to start using the Facebook Conversions API to supplement data that is no longer capture by their pixel. This is designed to create a direct connection between your marketing data and Facebook. While the API is an effective way to improve your tracking capabilities, brands and advertisers have often complained about the high barriers of entry to getting it implemented.
Facebook has been working to address this issue. While previously development resource was always required to implement the Conversions API, there are now a few other ways it can be set up. These include direct integrations with commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix or BigCommerce, as well as partner integrations through tools such as Google Tag Manager or Tealium.
In October 2021, Facebook also rolled out the Conversions API Gateway. This is a code-free, self service setup option available within Events Manager, which enables you to connect your website to Facebook via a cloud server. It is designed to reduce the time and development resource required to start using the Conversions API.
Concerns around data privacy aren’t going away. While the Apple iOS 14.5 update was the first major change in reaction to this, it is unlikely to be the last. Google has also spoken about rolling out a similar update on Android phones, and removing third party cookies (such as the Facebook pixel) from its Chrome browser.
Ensuring you have a robust measurement solution in place to measure and optimise your paid social campaigns, such as the Facebook Conversions API, is likely to become increasingly important.
If you’re wondering how to manage your paid social strategy in a post iOS 14.5 world, get in touch with us today.