As an advertiser, we want to update you on an important change that may greatly impact your digital marketing efforts. Apple has announced a new update that will impact the way digital advertising efforts are tracked through iOS 14.5 devices. The new App Tracking Transparency  feature means that Apple device users will have to opt in to all tracking methods anytime a user installs an app from the App Store. When a device opts out of tracking, any offline actions such as leads, add to carts, purchases, and custom conversions will no longer be tracked through Facebook. This means the audience sizes may decrease, some campaigns will be counted differently, and retargeting ads may not be as effective. While this update is specifically for iOS devices such as iPhones, iPads, and iPods, Apple announced that this feature will extend to macOS 11, resulting in Safari automatically blocking any site trackers. Although this update isn’t the best news for Facebook advertising, there are some ways we can prepare for, and optimize, your account to respond to the changes – coming this spring. Below are recommendations we are sharing with our clients on how to respond: 

1. In order to combat the iOS 14.5 update, Facebook is implementing its new Aggregated Event Measurement feature, which will allow advertising methods to continue, while preserving the user’s privacy, to ensure an effective campaign. Aggregated Event Measurement will limit the amount and type of data that advertisers can send to Facebook through tools like the Facebook pixel (Facebook, 2021). This limit is now 8 conversion events, which are actions taken on your website . In order to manage the 8 events the pixel can optimize, an admin with access to the Business Manager can choose which events are available for your pixel domain. 

2. Make sure to verify that your business owns the website domain where the pixel is set up. To do this, navigate to business settings in the business manager and verify your domain through the brand safety tab. In most cases, it is wise to have an experienced web developer add a DNS TXT record to your domain host. 

3. Test the effect of excluding iOS devices when choosing the conversions objective for a Facebook campaign. To do this, go to “Specific Mobile Devices & Operating Systems” option and choose Android devices or iOS devices only. 

4. Take advantage of campaigns outside of the conversion objective. Lead, traffic, and brand awareness are all effective objectives to use when creating Facebook ad campaigns. Although the pixel may not track the events of those who have opted out, UTMs and a variety of other tactics can be used to determine which campaign leads to optimal results.

While Facebook and advertisers are not ecstatic about the changes, the platform is working diligently to provide other options to ensure proper optimization of Facebook ads. The WitMark team is closely monitoring this, and other, changes that can impact digital marketing efforts and  helping our clients pivot in order to mitigate the negative effects of the iOS 14.5 update. If you are looking to do the same, and don’t know where to start, contact us.