• Apple iOS 14 / Facebook Ad Update Coming in March 2021

    Alex Pettus  •  January 27, 2021

Keeping abreast of current and upcoming changes is an important part of succeeding in digital marketing. We wanted to pass along some information regarding changes that will be coming in 2021 on Facebook regarding Apple/iOS operating systems. This will hopefully ease your nerves if you’ve been watching and reading the news about the changes that the two companies announced this week regarding customer data and tracking.

Recently, Apple announced a number of changes that are forthcoming in early 2021 surrounding iOS14. These changes will have massive implications on your ability to market, track, and understand data from potential and current customers. We are still learning complete details about what the changes will be, but there are actions we must take now to ensure we are prepared properly.

fb ios 14 121

Tracking Will Become More Difficult

What we do know is that tracking will become more difficult, our attribution windows will change, and ads will likely be less effective due to a loss of “signals” from users opting out of tracking. We will need to continue developing a greater understanding of how customers are finding us and how we can keep them around using tools like email and a post-purchase survey tool.

Apple has announced that with the mandatory rollout of iOS14 in March 2021 for all Apple mobile phones, it will likely provide an opt-in prompt for users on each app to be able to choose whether to allow third-party sites (like Facebook and other social media sites) to track their user data. User data can include things like conversions, website visitors/tracking (which affects interest targeting), and a few other things. Along with this tracking change, other upcoming changes include: attribution windows, which means your ROAS will likely (via reporting) decrease overall, and only 8 optimization events will be allowed (think purchase, initiate checkout, add to cart, lead, etc.). You can find a more detailed description of the changes here.

If 121 Marketing is running your Facebook ads, then don’t worry! We are still working to fully understand what changes we need to make to ensure it continues to be as successful as it can. However, there are a few things that you and we can do to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be for the change, such as: domain verification, setting up Conversion API and Auto-Advanced Matching, and looking at attribution data so that we have a benchmark for what success looks like when it changes. 

How to Prepare

If you run your own Facebook social media ads, we want to help you be as prepared and up to date as possible. Here are some things you can do right now to ensure you’re prepared for the upcoming changes:

Implement CAPI with Google Tag Manager

This helps you track based on information completed on your site through other means than cache-based pixel events.

Verify your domain

This ensures you’re set up and official to Facebook.

Calculate your delayed attribution multipliers

This helps you understand which percentage of your conversions comes after 7 days.

Decide which eight events for conversions you’ll track. Then customize them in the Events Manager

Reporting will be very different. Facebook states, The 8 conversion events per domain will be ranked based on priority. If multiple events are completed by a user (i.e. add to cart and purchase) only the higher prioritized event will be reported.

Prepare for reporting within Facebook to be less-complete

Facebook states, Certain attribution windows will have partial reporting and metrics will not include all events from iOS 14 users. [It’ll be communicated] when a metric is partial.

Install a post-purchase attribution survey tool, like Prove It Post-Purchase Surveys

You will absolutely need this to understand the true impact of Facebook and Instagram’s ads on your sales funnel.

Read this developer blog post from Facebook here

This is nothing to overreact about now, but just know that we are researching and understanding more about these changes each day, and will keep you informed as more information becomes available. For more information, or to see how 121 Marketing can help with you social media ads, please reach out to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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