The Wait is Over: Apple’s i0S 14.5 Update Is Here

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iOS 14.5 is Finally Here and This is What You Need to Know for Facebook

We knew this day would come, but until now, did not have a firm grasp of exactly when.  Directly following Apple’s 2021 Event, it was announced that iOS 14.5 is expected to roll out by April 30.

Important Updates We Didn’t Know Previously

  • App Campaigns will be immediately impacted and will need to update to latest API
  • With the increase of ‘opt-out’ users (limiting data availability) reporting within Facebook Ads Manager will be immediately impacted, including, but not limited to:
    • Facebook will “model” 1-day click-through data within Ads Manager
    • 7-day click-through and 1-day view-through attribution settings will no longer include data from iOS 14.5 users that opt-out of tracking
  • iOS 14.5 devices will be opted-out of tracking by default
    • Only the top priority event will be tracked in Facebook Ads Manager by these users
    • Ads to these users will not be personalized, i.e. they will fall out of interest based audiences

Potential Impact

We wrote about the potential impact of this update back in January, and little has changed. Advertisers still have little insight into the overarching effects of this privacy rollout, but it is expected to be deep reaching. Some important things to note:

Changes Expected by end of April:

  • Expect cost and performance fluctuations 
    • The entire ads system will be in flux as machine learning will need to gather new information and data on user behavior. This is expected to increase CPMs, CPCs, and CPAs until Facebook is able to get enough data to create new delivery models and build new audiences.
  • Audience Sizes to decrease over time leading to decreased efficiency
    • Due to users ‘opting out’ (and iOS 14.5 defaulting to ‘opt out’ tracking), we expect to see audience sizes decrease, limiting more granular targeting. 
    • Seer is auditing our clients' account structures and will be updating how we segment and layer audiences to ensure optimal reach that limits impact in efficiency. 
    • Seer is also testing additional first-party audiences where available

Action Items

  • Verify Website Domain with Facebook Business Manager
  • Set up 8 Priority Events for tracking
  • Implemented expanded audiences and expanded placements where appropriate
  • Consolidate audiences where appropriate, especially in interest and retargeting audiences where impact is expected to be greater
  • Leverage Google Analytics for 1-Day insights when needed as GA data will not be delayed 

What This Could Mean for Digital Marketing Moving Forward

While not directly stated, it’s my hypothesis (and a lot of reading between the lines) as a Facebook Advertising professional that Facebook (and other channels) will likely develop their own data modeling tool that will be available to advertisers within Ads Manager once Facebook gathers all the data it needs to establish the “new normal.” 

It’s a big change, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be scary. Advertisers across the world, and for us at Seer specifically, have worked diligently to diversify channel strategies knowing we’re heading into a cookie-less future. It's important not to react too quickly to performance fluctuations, as that may also cause further fluctuations in and of itself as it resets machine learning.

Advertisers should advise internal stakeholders to expect changes in performance and reporting as we begin to establish a new baseline with these changes.

There will be more to come on this as Seer, and others, gather data and learn more about the impact of iOS 14.5.

In the meantime, check out our longer January post on step-by-step instructions to take, as well as additional Facebook resources here and here

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