How the new iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency Framework is going to impact Your Facebook Advertising (and digital advertising in general)
Facebook's recent attack on Apple in regards to their new app tracking transparency framework has been all over the news. Who doesn't love a good public tantrum? Facebook ran full page ads saying Apple does not care about small business and that this change is fundamentally changing digital advertising.
Are you concerned about what this means for your Facebook and Instagram advertising? Will you not be able to capture conversions from this channel anymore? Should you be pulling Facebook Ads? But what if you rely on Facebook to drive new customers to your site? Are you really screwed?
Not all is as bad as it sounds.
Yes, significant changes are coming (and are already here).
Yes, Apple's changes will have an impact on your Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns.
Yes, you will need to prepare yourself and make the recommended changes.
But, no, it is not the end of the world. You can still keep running your ads and will still keep getting new customers via Facebook and Instagram, but you will just not be able to target in such a granular way as before and some visibility on your data and performance will be lost.
Hey, it's just another change (don't we all love change?). Digital advertising changes constantly, so let's be prepared and adapt as needed.
A little context around iPhone's market share in Australia
The mobile iOS market share in Australia in 2020 is 41.4% (up from the previous years).
For some advertisers in the ecommerce space iPhone and iPad dominate. In some cases they make up a combined 80% of all traffic and orders.
How large the impact will be is hard to say at this stage. We don’t know how many iPhone and iPad users will upgrade to iOS 14, how quickly the move is happening and how many users will actually opt out of being tracked (estimates are 50% ...).
What is Happening?
The Apple App Tracking Transparency framework is coming into play in early 2021 as part of the release of the new iOS 14 and the Facebook Ads community is panicking ...
“Data tracking is not allowed if the user chooses to disable the option. And that choice must be presented to the user through Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework, which, in the user interface, appears as a typical iPhone pop-up query.”*
Apple will prompt users to say yes or no to being tracked by each individual app on their phones. This will likely lead to many users disabling tracking for apps.
Facebook / Instagram are likely to be the apps most impacted as their mobile app use is huge and their advertising relies on the pixel (a cookie solution) and behavioural and demographic data to a large degree. This means limited targeting options for advertisers in the future and a reduced ability to track conversion metrics.
What does Facebook say?
Apart from throwing a tantrum as I mentioned above, Facebook’s solutions are relatively easy to implement and it’s not going to be catastrophic for small business. The impact is a lot more significant if you have an app yourself and if you do a lot of in-app advertising. This article focuses on impacts for advertising websites.
What You need to do
Facebook has created a Resource Center in your ads manager which guides you through the process: what do you need to do next with links to more detailed information.
Here is what you should have already done and if you haven’t, make it an absolute priority now:
What will the impact of these changes be?
Phew, this is a lot to take in and it sounds more complicated than it is. Just follow the recommendations and you're prepared as well as can be.
The digital advertising world is in constant change and this latest development is not the end of the world.
But, I am hoping that it shows you that it is super important to focus on your own first party data and not rely on a single marketing or advertising channel.
Two main takeaways for you
Are you owning your data? I would love to hear from you.