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Webamp / Academy / The new iOS update - the advertiser's worst nightmare

The new iOS update -
advertiser's worst nightmare

Do you advertise on social media - and track your users at the same time? Then you should know about Apple's new iOS 14 update (Tracking Transparency framework), which will be rolled out in early 2021. The update means that users on Apple mobile devices will have to allow tracking in future. We've taken a look at the new update, which may give users more control over their data - but it's also making marketers tear their hair out.

Webamp The team
- Specialist
Last updated: 12. dec. 2022

Hvad er iOS App Tracking Transparency framework?

In June 2020, Apple announced the less-than-subtle iOS App Tracking Transparency framework. It's essentially a change in iOS 14 that means all apps on iPhone and iPad, as well as certain desktops, will now have to display a prompt asking users for permission to track them via third-party apps and websites.

It has long been an option for users to opt out of tracking outside of Facebook as well as limit the amount of data Facebook can use from the user's Facebook profile. But today, they must proactively opt out in settings themselves. In future, they will simply have to respond reactively to an automatic notification.

What is the iOS App Tracking Transparency framework?

The update is thus a requirement for developers to "disclose" information about the data a given app collects. This of course also applies to Facebook. So if you work with Facebook advertising or other forms of social ads, you have every reason to familiarize yourself with the 3 policies that are the basis of the update.

1. Data nutrition label
Requires all apps to add information about their app's data collection via Apple's App Store Connect.

2. ATT (Tracking Transparency Prompt)
All apps must ask users for permission to track them via third-party apps and website.

3. Tracking via App/Browser APIs
Facebook will have to create a new framework that limits and delays incident reporting.

Hvilken betydning får opdateringen?

The update will have BIG implications for marketers and businesses working with mobile advertising and conversion tracking.

Too many users are likely to opt out of tracking. The opportunity for retargeting advertising will therefore be significantly reduced as the collection of user data will not be possible to the same extent as in the past.

Finally, you will probably see a significant decrease in the number of reported conversions.

This gives you a potentially misleading insight into your conversions. However, this doesn't mean that your ads aren't generating conversions, but will probably give you a much lower result because Facebook simply can't track user actions.

Hvordan fungerer det i praksis?

If a user chooses to give permission for tracking, there will be no change in the collection of data. However, it will require the user to also give permission to other apps in order to collect data across apps.

If a user chooses not to allow tracking, they will access Apple's PCM (private click measurement), which does not support conversion tracking or cross-domain measurement, which will have major consequences for you as an advertiser on Facebook.

Therefore, Facebook has developed its own solution for this - AEM (Aggregated Event Measurement). This solution will support app web tracking. However, at the moment it does not solve cross-domain tracking, but Facebook is working on solving that.

In practice, the update will mean the following changes:

  • With the new changes, you will only be able to have 8 events per domain for campaign optimization.
  • You will probably see a reduction in retargeting audiences, as a large proportion of users will probably opt out of tracking. It also means that there will be overlap on targeting, as you can no longer exclude all customers, for example.
  • Due to the reduced data tracking you will experience a reduction in reported conversion. This does not mean that these conversions will not happen - but that you will not see them in Facebook's reporting.
  • Conversion window will change and 28 days of click and view as well as 7 days of view attribution will no longer be possible. Breakdowns will also no longer be possible. Therefore, you will no longer be able to see demographic information such as age and gender on your conversions.

The following periods are supported under the new attribution option:

  • 1 day after click
  • 7 days after click (default)
  • 1 day after click or 1 day after viewing
  • 7 days after click and 1 day after viewing
  • In addition, there will also be up to 3 days delay on the data.

Hvad kan du gøre nu?

With the new update, you will probably need to verify your domain in Facebook. Therefore, it would be a good idea to do it NOW so that you are prepared.

In addition, if you have more than 8 events, you should make a prioritisation plan.

Finally, take a look at your Facebook strategy and consider whether any changes are needed. In particular, you should focus on getting users to engage with your Facebook or Instagram page. This will ensure an increased retargeting audience, as Facebook can retarget to those who have interacted with your brand within the app.

In short, the update will have a big impact on your conversion tracking and social media retargeting audiences.

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