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Apple has announced tighter privacy policies with the release of their iOS 14 software update which requires app developers to request permission before they track users. These changes significantly impact Facebook whose business is almost entirely based on tracking what users do online and profiting off ‘personalised ads’.

According to Statcounter GlobalStats, in 2020 Apple had 54.48% of Australia’s mobile operating market share, with Android owning 45.02%.

Facebook has accused Apple of attacking small businesses and having self-serving motivation for making the change and favouring its own apps over third parties’. Regardless of what is driving Apple’s changes, any business using Facebook ads need to begin preparing for the changes and watch closes as the policy comes into effect.

As Alan Watts says, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance,”.

Facebook has stated Apple’s privacy changes will limit businesses ability to:

  • Effectively deliver ads to people based on their engagement with your business
  • Measure and report on conversions from certain customers
  • Ensure your ads are delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency
  • Accurately attribute app installs to people using iOS 14 and later
  • Predict and optimise cost per action over time and efficiently allocate budgets
  • Businesses are limited to 8 conversion events per domain: this includes pixel events such as conversions, page views, and custom conversions. Any Facebook Ads that are optimised for events that are not one of the top 8 conversion events will be paused.
  • Removal of a 28-day click attribution window: Facebook will now offer 7-day click and 1-day view attribution.

To combat changes, Facebook has released its Aggregated Event Measurement tool which enables measurement of web events from iOS 14 devices. Facebook recommends businesses take the following steps to prepare so they can continue to deliver and measure campaign performance:

  • Update to Facebook’s SDK for iOS 14 version 8.1 to help personalise ads delivered to iOS 14 users and continue to receive app conversion events reporting
  • Learn how to use the Facebook SDK, App Events API and Mobile Measurement Partners to reach devices on iOS 14 and measure performance
  • If you plan to deliver ads optimised for conversion events that occur on your business’s website you may need to verify your websites domain. Find out more about domain verification here.
  • Configure 8 preferred web conversion events per domain in Events Manager
  • Learn more about how to use Facebook Pixel to reach devices on iOS 14 and measure performance.

Read more information and view a step-by-step guide for making these changes by clicking here.

Whilst it is still unclear how much this will affect ad spend and results, we have listed ways you can ensure that your ads receive the most coverage from Facebook.

Use video as the dominant media type

In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg stated that Facebook could be mostly video by 2021 – we are continuing to see Facebook push video content. According to WordStream, “video is on average 10% of the cost of carousel or single image ads”.

We recommend using mobile-shot videos where the creative resembles organic stories content, similar to the effect of using a mobile phone camera, or ‘selfie-mode’. According to Facebook, mobile shot is:

  • 78% better at driving ad recall
  • 80% better at driving intent
  • 84% better at getting users to view content
  • 63% better at driving purchases, app installs and checkouts.

Plan for the rise of Facebook Groups and Facebook Groups Ads

Facebook recently spent an estimated $10 million on a 60-second commercial promoting Facebook Groups. In addition, the recent redesign emphasises Facebook Groups by placing them in the navigation bar and giving posts within groups an algorithm-based feedback.

Consider looking at the Facebook Groups your target audience are active in and start advertising in those.

Place a bigger emphasis on customer experience

Last year we saw an unprecedented amount of Facebook accounts being disabled in an attempt by Facebook to get a handle of violations by advertisers. One of the ways Facebook is attempting to be transparent about who they ban or restrict is a customer feedback score.

Facebook uses a variety of information, including surveys from people who purchased products/services to help verify whether advertisers are accurately representing the products/services delivered to customers.

For pages more than a year old, if their score drops between 1 and 2, the page will see a delivery penalty applied to its ads. This means ads will reach fewer people for the same budget.

For pages less than a year old if the score drops below 2, it won’t be allowed to advertise.

You can check your feedback score by visiting https://www.facebook.com/ads/customer_feedback/

To improve your score, we recommend:

  • Set clear expectations for your customers about your products/services
  • Inform and generate effective communications with customers on the shipping of your products or booking of your service
  • Clearly outline your return and refund policy.

Apple’s iOS 14 changes is the first tangible push to make social media platforms protect and comply with privacy policies – and ultimately, moves to empower users with the choice. While it’s unclear of how large the impact will be, it’s unlikely that this will be the last move to increase the protection of users. We recommend remaining agile and responding quickly to further developments to limit the impact on your business.

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