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Facebook Ads iOS14 Update Explained: Verifying Domain, Conversions API & Next Steps

Date Posted: February 1, 2021

Are Facebook ads dying?

Apple has recently announced the upcoming release of iOS14 which will be rolled out to Apple mobile devices over the coming weeks and months.

There’s a big issue in the tech industry around user privacy coming to the forefront at the moment.

People are getting pissed off they are being tracked in a creepy way and their data is not being used as innocently as these companies claim.

As a result, in iOS14 it will ask all users if they wish to allow tracking by these apps on their phone.

Naturally, many people will say no thanks.

So what does this mean?

This means that Facebook won’t be able to easy track what users do in reaction to the ads they currently see.

If they can’t tell what users do, us as advertisers will be essentially flying blind (or at least partially compared to before).

Apple is basically going to reduce the amount of data/info they allow to be sent back to apps like Facebook and they’ll also be delaying the transmission of that info so it’s harder to identify users in a creepy way.

This is bad for advertisers who rely on making improvements to campaigns based on live AND complete data.

The iOS14 rollout has started and will happen gradually across different markets over the next few weeks and months.

Normally these big companies will liaise with each other to give them say 6 or 12 months notice to prepare their users for upcoming changes.

In this case, Apple basically surprised Facebook last minute with these changes and they’ve been scrambling to come up with a solution or fix asap.

This could be a major change for Facebook ads, or it could be a blip on the radar – it remains to be seen.

98.5% of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising – so they’re going to be extremely motivated to find a solution as this will have a major impact on them if advertisers no longer get great ROI from ads and stop spending. [Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/271258/facebooks-advertising-revenue-worldwide]

Facebook apparently brought many of their staff back

What can I do about it?

In the short term:

  1. Verify your domain in Business Manager – Go to Settings > Brand Safety > Domains > Add Domain > Then verify using one of the 3 methods available (I personally find meta tag the easiest/fastest. Remember to clear your cache if you use caching plugins then refresh the page to ensure it’s verified)
  2. Set up Conversions API – This is different depending on what platform you use. Shopify has built in integrations, lots of tutorials on YouTube. For other platforms you can use 3rd party integration tools like Zapier or Leadsbridge.
  3. Review your past campaigns – Filter conversions by Device to see what % of your sales come from Apple iOS users. Identify which audiences have historically been most profitable for you.
  4. Look at other channels – I would plan for the worst (ie. as if this ruins your ads performance) and hope for the best. As I’ve always said, never rely on one platform – this quote comes to mind too.. “one is none, and two is one”.

Long term, from the instructions we have so far – there will likely be more changes made in the ads manager and the technical set up of the ads – but they are the main things for now to be aware of if you’re a business owner using ads currently.

People have marketed before these changes and will market after these changes.

Might be a pain for now, but as always companies will adapt.

Ultimately the customers are still out there, that hasn’t changed – it’s just that the way we reach them might evolve over time.

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