New Era of Privacy Orientated Advertising

How Apple& iOS 14 release may affect your ads and reporting


Apple has announced changes with iOS 14 that will affect how we receive and process conversion events from tools such as the Facebook pixel. Businesses that advertise mobile apps, as well as those that optimise, target and report on web conversion events from any of our business tools will be affected.

Specifically, Apple will begin to require that apps in the App Store that engage in what Apple defines as “tracking” to show a prompt to iOS 14 users, in accordance with its AppTrackingTransparency framework. Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14 devices via the prompt. As more people opt-out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ads personalisation and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.

Targeting limitations

As more people opt-out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, the size of your app connections, app activity Custom Audiences and Website Custom Audiences may decrease.

Reporting limitations

Under Apple’s new policy, businesses will be limited in their ability to measure the performance of iOS 14 app install campaigns on Facebook. For iOS 14 app install campaigns, reporting will need to rely on data from Apple’s SKAdNetwork API for mobile app installs and other app conversion events.

Similar limitations will apply to the measurement of some web conversion events because of reporting limitations of iOS 14 devices. The following limitations are expected across Ads Manager, ads reporting and the Ads Insights API.

  • Delayed reporting: Real-time reporting will not be supported and data may be delayed up to three days. For iOS 14 app install campaigns, conversion events will be reported based on the time that they are reported to Facebook by the SKAdNetwork API and not the time they occur. Web conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of the associated ad impressions.
  • Estimated results: For iOS 14 app install campaigns, the SKAdNetwork API will report results to Facebook, aggregated at the campaign level. Statistical modelling may be used to account for results at the ad set and ad levels, unless the campaign is composed of a single ad set and ad. For web conversion events, statistical modelling may be used to account for conversions from iOS 14 users.
  • No support for breakdowns: For both app and web conversions, delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, region and placement will not be supported.
  • Changes to account attribution window settings: Once Apple enforces their iOS 14 requirements, the attribution window for all new or active ad campaigns will be set at the ad set level, rather than at the account level. The new ad set attribution setting can be accessed during campaign creation. This ad set level attribution setting ensures that the conversions measured are the same ones used to inform campaign optimisation, and will allow for increased flexibility and clarity when analysing ad performance. Additionally, the default for all new or active ad campaigns (other than iOS 14 app install campaigns) will be set at a 7-day click attribution window. iOS 14 app install campaigns will report based on the attribution window provided by Apple’s SKAdNetwork API.

Going forward, 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported for active campaigns. However, inactive campaigns will still report using the legacy account-level attribution window, and historical data for the attribution windows that are no longer supported will continue to remain accessible via our Ads Insights API.

After these changes take effect, except for iOS 14 app install campaigns and automated rules, the default 7-day click attribution window can be modified by you to one of the other windows that are still supported. The following windows will be supported under the new attribution setting:

  • 1-day click
  • 7-day click (default after Apple prompt enforcement)
  • 1-day click and 1-day view
  • 7-day click and 1-day view (initial default)

Before 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through and 7-day view-through attribution windows become unavailable, you should take the following steps to prepare.

  • Use the comparing windows feature to see how conversions attributed to their ads compared across different attribution windows. This will help you better anticipate any changes in reported conversions that result from moving to a 7-day window.
  • Export any historical 28-day view or click and 7-day view attribution window data you need. Historical data will still be accessible via the Ads Insights API, even after the changes go into effect.
  • All automated rules will change to a 7-day click attribution window when Apple’s changes take effect. Update the attribution window for your automated rules to a 7-day click attribution window now to help avoid unexpected changes to your automated rules later. The option to specify a different attribution window for automated rules will not be available.

Please note that these changes may be introduced at different times. In an effort to better prepare our advertisers for upcoming changes, we will initially default to a 7-day click and 1-day view attribution setting ahead of Apple’s enforcement of the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt. Once Apple begins enforcement of its prompt, we will change the default to a 7-day click attribution setting. Please note that the subsequent default change to 7-day click will only apply to ad sets created after the default change; there will be no impact to reporting and optimisation of ad sets that began before the change. We will provide notifications and guidance in the product to keep you informed of any change to the default setting.

The changes will impact beyond Facebook and the truth of the matter is that in order to maintain and grow campaigns you need to re-address strategy to ensure that your campaigns do not suffer from the changes.

Here at TFI Digital, we are offering a free audit to a limited number of businesses to help them understand the direct impact of the changes.