The dreaded Apple iOS 14.5 update is near. Have no fear… The Parachute team is here!
“Enough with the rhyme… give us the REASON!” We hear you. So let’s chat about the iOS 14.5 changes and how to prepare your social ad accounts for the switch.
This past holiday season, Facebook swapped out a present under the tree for Apple. Apple’s Blue Checkmark mysteriously disappeared from their Facebook page, and it was replaced with a blank space, or what we would consider, a big “Middle Finger.”
After the news of Apple’s iOS 14.5 privacy update was released, and Facebook learned how it would directly affect their 86-billion-dollar revenue stream, Facebook went after Apple, Real Housewives style. Not only did Apple disrupt Facebook’s system, but they’re also making their own billion-dollar advertising revenue stream.
All drama aside, the iOS 14.5 update changes the game for us social ad experts. But are we really surprised that Facebook is changing again? Nope. We made it through when everyone in America learned the term, “Algorithm,” so we’ll make it through this detour. At Parachute, one of our core values is nimbleness, and Facebook loves to put that to the test. Thankfully, they’ve mapped out a plan to prepare for the changes.
What the iOS 14.5 Change Means for Your Social Ad Account
“Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14.5 devices via the prompt. As more people opt-out of tracking on iOS 14.5 devices, ads personalization and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.” – Facebook
What this means is that interest targeting will definitely still “work,” but it might be less accurate as users opt-out of tracking on iOS 14 devices. While the activity of users on Facebook will still be tracked, when users leave the Facebook App to go to a website and opt-out of being tracked, this is where data may fall off.
The iOS 14.5 change will affect eCommerce brands the most. *Sigh.* As opted-out users visit a website to shop products, Facebook will no longer be able to retarget those users on Facebook through conversion ads. It will also not be able to track which products users have expressed interest in.
And whether you’re in-house, a freelancer or agency, be sure that your clients or any stakeholders are aware of the changes ahead of time to set expectations for any limitations. Reporting may look a little different, and you might need to export historical data for your records, as with traditional Facebook Analytics going away after June.
But don’t lose hope yet.
How to Prepare for the iOS 14.5 Update
Facebook Ads Manager has a dedicated tab, “Resource Manager,” with a list of all of the changes they recommend before the iOS 14.5 update releases.
Make sure to contact your website manager and ask them to verify the website domain of your ad account. There are three ways to verify, and they are all quite simple. The scary part is the rumor that ad accounts without a verified domain will see their ads paused on Monday, April 26th.
I just spoke with a big brand CMO who is also a big spender on FB and he was clueless.
Just a friendly reminder to everyone: If you did not verify your domain, set up aggregated event measurement and shared all assets with your partners, all your ads will be PAUSED on Monday ‼️
— Rok Hladnik (@rokhladnik) April 21, 2021
Secondly, make sure to configure up to eight preferred web conversion events per domain in the Events Manager. Web conversion events are ways we measure customer actions in a more specific way, thus elevating the tracking, optimizing and remarketing of these actions.
Ways to Alleviate the Changes
As opted-out users visit your brand’s website, they are not able to be retargeted via Facebook. This will ultimately affect the size of your retargeting audience. Here’s where the Ol’ Faithful (A.K.A. “Create Lookalike Audience”) rescues us. Continue to utilize the Lookalike Audience feature of your website visitors. This will place your ads in your target audience’s feed.
More good news is that you will still be able to retarget users based on actions they have taken on your Facebook page like watching your videos or engaging with content, so keep pushing those memes and videos…and retarget, retarget, retarget.
There’s one thing before you send an email titled, “URGENT: Domain Verification” to your website manager. Make sure your Google Analytics account is connected and ready for April 26. You will still be able to track conversions through Google Analytics and Facebook. The difference is that Google Analytics will now quantify more conversions than Facebook. This is because Facebook will not be able to track website activity for users who have opted out.
Godspeed, friend. May the odds be ever in your favor.