Making Sense of iOS 14 and Direct Response

Making Sense of iOS 14 and Direct Response

iOS 14

This week Apple will roll out iOS 14. Each new operating system has minor changes -- but iOS 14.5 is set to change our whole industry. 

We sent a note out to all of our clients helping them understand the ramifications of iOS’s new privacy and anti-tracking features. Here’s an abridged version, for all of you who are trying to make sense of this brave new world. 

At a high level, Apple is now requiring apps in the App Store to obtain permission to “track” users across apps and websites owned by third parties, like Facebook. Apple made an AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework, which will prompt people on Facebook and Instagram about whether they want to be tracked.

Expect a gradual adoption: people will update their devices slowly over several weeks. When it’s generally available, you can expect to see changes in Facebook’s business and advertising tools, campaign set up, targeting, delivery, measurement, and reporting. 

iOS 14.5 devices will be opted-out by default: People will be opted out until they “allow tracking” or change their choice. 

There will be some immediate changes to app campaigns: App advertisers that do not support Apple's SKAdNetwork API through their business tool integration (e.g. Facebook SDK) will be unable to create Mobile App Install campaigns targeting users on iOS 14.5+ devices, and existing campaigns will stop delivering to iOS 14.5+ devices.

All SKAdNetwork API campaign pauses and conversion schema configuration changes will trigger a 72-hour reset period for all active iOS 14 App Event Optimization (AEO) and Value Optimization (VO) campaigns to help minimize the risk of incorrect attribution.

Expect immediate changes to reporting (app and web):

  • 1-day click-through opt-out data will be modeled.
  • 7-day click-through and 1-day view-through attribution settings will no longer include iOS 14.5 opted-out events.
  • Delivery, action and dynamic creative element breakdowns will be deprecated for web and app conversions. This includes demographic information (age, gender, region) as well as placement breakdowns.
  • Attribution setting default will change to 7-day click-through for newly created ad sets and web event campaigns.
  • 28-day click-through, 7-day view-through, 28-day view-through attribution settings will be fully deprecated along with the Comparing Windows feature.
  • Attribution methodology will shift from Impression Time to Conversion Time.
  • iOS 14.5+ mobile app install campaigns will use SKAN for attribution.

Expect gradual rollout to campaigns using web events: Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) will roll out over a 2-week period, though this period may be extended. This means not all advertisers will have campaign restrictions, including limits on events that are available for optimization, starting Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

In the following weeks, expect performance fluctuations: As we see adoption of iOS 14.5 continue to increase, we may see greater impact to delivery and reporting, resulting in performance fluctuations and increased CPAs.

100% AEM rollout to campaigns using web events: Unless Apple needs to extend the roll out period to address implementation issues we may encounter, 100% of advertisers will see the new AEM experience by Day 14 (post rollout).

  • All advertisers are subject to the 8 event per domain limit for optimization in campaign creation.
  • Modification to some web event configurations, including reprioritization, will automatically pause ad sets that are impacted by the event change (the changed event and all lower priority events) for 72 hours in order to help minimize the risk of incorrect attribution.

Audience sizes may decrease: As more people upgrade to iOS 14.5, opted-out users will automatically be excluded from certain targetable audiences, which may result in decrease of audience sizes.

We expect future changes and new product iterations and will continue to proactively communicate our guidance and help you navigate these shifts. You can find updated resources and recommendations here.

We make performance creative. With this loss of signal & targeting ability, we’re confident that running compelling creative to find and convert your audience is more important than ever.

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