Apple iOS updates, Facebook Ads and Instagram are making changes that will impact merchants and the way you can advertise and track statistically what is going on inside your business. What are these changes and how can you be ready?
Who do the changes apply to?
It is important to note that these changes only apply to those of you who own iOS devices. And the changes will only occur once you have updated to iOS 14. If you use desktop or android then for now at least these changes will not apply to you as a user.
However, the iOS updates will affect all merchants right across Youtube, TikTok, LinkedIn, Google, etc. Put another way, this will affect any platform where an individual goes from an Apple product to a platform and then to a website.
What exactly is happening?
Apple announced iOs updates last year that require all apps to ask their users for permission before collecting and then sharing their data. Facebook is very unhappy with the changes and argues that the changes are about profit, not privacy, and will ultimately hurt small businesses the most.
Users will now be made aware of what an app will track before installing it and then they will have the choice of whether to ‘Ask App Not to Track’ or ‘Allow Facebook to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites’. While currently, users are effectively allowing this tracking to take place, it is expected that when the new iOS updates kick in and this question is asked in such a clear black and white way, many users will opt-out of the tracking. If millions choose to opt-out then this will seriously disrupt Facebook Ads as Facebook will no longer be able to apply detailed user usage to how it documents purchases from ads, for example.
Which measurements will change?
Changes will affect Ads Reporting, Ads Manager, and Ads Insights. 28-day historical data attribution will only be available through the API and a 7-day view through attribution will no longer be available.
Any tracking with the Pixel will now be inaccurate because of opt-outs.
Retargeted ads won’t show up on opted-out iOS 14 devices.
Building Audiences will be affected by these changes.
What is Facebook doing?
In February, Facebook published the following updated response:
“To help people make a more informed decision, we’re also showing a screen of our own, along with Apple’s. It will provide more information about how we use personalized ads, which support small businesses and keep apps free. If you accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see on those apps won’t change. If you decline, you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you. Agreeing to these prompts doesn’t result in Facebook collecting new types of data. It just means that we can continue to give people better experiences. We feel that people deserve the additional context, and Apple has said that providing education is allowed.”
Facebook seems to be pinning some of its hopes on explaining the advantages of opting in to tracking and hoping this will persuade many who might have opted out to continue to allow tracking of their activity.
Facebook is also looking at what it calls ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’ as a way of limiting the data loss and continuing to measure campaign performance.
Will the changes affect other platforms?
The simple answer is yes. As mentioned, apps including Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger will all be set to ‘Opt-out’ as default. No longer will you need to search for ways to change your privacy settings, there will be a very clear and obvious notification that asks if you would like the app to track you.
This will also affect apps that monetize with Audience Network, a placement utilized by Facebook advertisers.
What can you or should you do next?
Change and sudden shocks are a part of life as we have all seen with the coronavirus pandemic. Technology is always changing so there is no need to panic about the changes. The answer is to prepare and adapt to these changes.
Here are some suggestions as to what merchants should consider at this point:
If you haven’t already done so, verify your domain with Facebook to protect your pixel data.
Accept that the 28-day view-through attribution data will no longer be available soon. Download your historical data.
Update your rules if they are tied to 28-day attribution.
As soon as the iOS 14 updates kick in, keep on top of your data analysis to understand how these changes are affecting you. As the changes only affect iOS 14 users who opt-out, it is hard to predict just how serious this issue will be right now.
Try to understand how many leads, purchases, and other events currently come from iOS devices.
Build your merchant email addresses so you don’t need to rely so heavily on Pixel optimization.
Model a relationship between 7 and 28-day click-based Return On Advertising Spend. Consider investing in some post-purchase tools.
Educate your staff and customers on the changes taking place.
Don’t panic and be ready to adapt! As we noted above, change is inevitable and these changes will affect many people and businesses. There is certainly no need to panic.
Learn more about Facebook Ads and other important questions
If you want to learn more about Facebook Ads then check out our Printify POD Rockstars official group managed by Printify. This is a fantastic resource and space where merchants get together to share experiences, discuss new market trends, expand their network, and find answers to important questions. It includes a webinar on this topic. You can join this group here.
Make it happen today!
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