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Blog post on Apple's iOS 14 update

The iOS 14 update’s impact on performance advertising

Social media platforms and online marketers found themselves in something of a bind with Apple’s latest iOS update and its new privacy policy changes. The new App Tracking Transparency feature (ATT) means users will see a prompt asking them to agree to apps or websites tracking their activity and sharing it with third parties for advertising purposes.

Many were left wondering how to prepare for the fallout. For example, Facebook announced they will display their own privacy prompt alongside Apple’s, providing more information on the use of personalised ads. Agreeing to this prompt will not change the type of ads you see, while declining it will show generic ads.

However, it’s still unclear how much damage control this will achieve. We’ve taken our trademark methodical approach, breaking down the info for you in a summary of how you can adapt to this shift in the landscape.

Facebook Ads for Web Events

1. Verify your domain

The first and most important step is to verify your website domain in the Business Manager. You can find a step-by-step guide here.

2. Set up your conversion events

Conversion events will be limited to eight per domain. If these are not personally configured, they will only include the top eight conversion events based on ad spend in the last 28 days. Ad sets optimised for any other events will be paused, so make sure to configure your most important and relevant domains. The sooner the better, as any change in the event manager will trigger a 72-hour cool-down for the event which will also pause your ad sets.

3. Implement server-side tracking and conversion APIs

As the topic is somewhat too intricate to summarise in one paragraph without excluding bits of important information, make sure to get the latest information on the changes here.

4. Prepare for attribution window changes

Update any ad set using the previously default 28-day attribution window to a new 7-day click window. This will help you see summarised data for several campaigns and will prevent any unexpected changes. Now’s also the time to make use of Facebook’s “Compare Attribution Window” feature, so that you can get more insight and anticipate the changes in reporting.

Facebook Ads for App Events

1. Update the Facebook SDK to version 8.1 or above

Earlier versions have already been deprecated, so this should be on your list of priorities.

2. Implement the Audience Network SDK v6.2.1

This is a basic requirement for monetising your app in the audience network.

3. Check your SKAdNetwork configuration

If you use App Events API and do not use Facebook SDK to support SKAdNetwork API, go to your Events Manager to double check its configuration.

More information for app developers and marketers can be found here.

Twitter

According to Twitter, advertisers optimising their campaigns for web events or for app re-engagement products don’t need to take any further action. However, if setting up app install campaigns, make sure your app supports Apple’s SKAdNetwork and that campaigns are limited to a maximum of 70 ad groups.

Snapchat

For campaigns optimised for app events, make sure your Snap App ID is correctly configured and implement Apple’s SKAdNetwork for tracking.

TikTok

The platform has announced that they will also support reporting and downstream optimisation though Apple’s SKAdNetwork. While there are no immediate changes you need to make for the campaign, they too recommend your Mobile Measurement Partner’s SDK is updated to the latest version.

What about LinkedIn, Pinterest and Reddit?

So far, no official guidelines have been published on these three platforms and it’s yet to be established how advertising might be affected on their platforms.

Google Ads

1. Update our Google Mobile Ads and Interactive Media Ads SDKs to the latest version

Google is also still assessing how to best react to iOS 14 update, so they are regularly launching new features and functionalities in order to keep up the level of performance marketers have come to expect from the company’s advertising solutions.

2. Configure Apple’s SKAdNetwork

As with the platforms, correctly configuring Apple’s SKAdNetwork will help with measuring and reporting performance.

3. Consider adding your own disclaimer alongside Apple’s ATT prompt

Wording and presentation make a subtle but strong impact on the likelihood of people accepting or rejecting the new privacy prompt. App advertisers can configure their own disclaimer which would appear before the ATT one, in which they can explain the advantages of opting-in, how and why users should do so.

Bing Ads

At the moment there are no official guidelines issues by Microsoft Advertising. As the update has not actually been rolled out yet, it is still unclear how Bing Ads will be impacted – we’re keeping our eyes peeled for news.

TL;DR

We’ve put all of this in a handy table (Print it! Frame it! Hang it over your desk!) with all the important steps to take in preparation for the iOS 14 rollout.

Links

Facebook

Twitter

Snapchat

Apple

Google Ads

For more information and insights into Apple’s iOS 14 update, check out our recent “Peak Ace on Air” episode with Paul Draegert.

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