Facebook Preps Advertisers, App Developers, Audience Network Clients for iOS 14.5 Next Week

It warned that Apple’s SKAdNetwork will restrict, aggregate and delay reporting

App advertisers will need to run iOS 14 mobile app install advertising within one ad account and be limited to nine campaigns per app
Facebook/Apple

Apple confirmed earlier this week that iOS 14.5 and its accompanying prompts that will ask users whether they want to be tracked by applications will be made generally available next week, and Facebook responded by sharing suggestions for how advertisers, app developers and brands using the Facebook Audience Network monetization platform should prepare for the changes.

The social network cautioned advertisers that it will implement new advertiser experiences and measurement protocols once iOS 14.5 is released, including Apple’s SKAdNetwork application-programming interface and Facebook’s aggregated event measurement, which will restrict, aggregate and delay reporting, while continuing to enable the measurement of campaign results, with limitations.

App advertisers will need to run iOS 14 mobile app install advertising within one ad account and be limited to nine campaigns per app, while advertisers using web events will be limited to optimizing for no more than eight events on each domain they own.

Facebook said app advertisers should:

  • Update to Facebook SDK (software development kit) version 8.0 or above and confirm with their mobile measurement partners (if applicable) whether the version they are using supports Apple’s SKAdNetwork API.
  • Set up conversion schema in events manager to optimize for app events, value and mobile app installs with automated app ads.
  • Plan to create iOS 14 app install campaigns with one ad account per app, nine campaigns per app and five ad sets per campaign of the same optimization type.

Advertisers using web events should verify their domain in Facebook Business Manager, set up and prioritize up to eight web events per domain in events manager and review ads that will be paused via the Resource Center tab in Ads Manager to update or replace them.

The social network said failure to take the actions above could result in disruptions to Facebook and Instagram advertising, including:

  • An inability to create mobile app install ad campaigns targeting users on iOS 14.5 and above.
  • Limited access to certain optimization choices and the pause of certain ad sets.
  • Ad performance impact as delivery to users on iOS 14.5 and above may decline for certain ad sets.

On event measurement, Facebook will restrict, aggregate and delay reporting in order to align with Apple’s policies, saying that advertisers were given tools to flag which app events are used for ads, and the number of website events that can be used for optimization is capped at eight while it explores ways to increase that number.

Events from iOS 14.5 devices that opt out of the Apple prompt on Facebook will not be used to include users in website custom audiences.

Facebook said it will no longer support long attribution windows for measurement where it will not have full event data, likely eliminating modeling for 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through and seven-day view-through.

Delivery and action breakdowns will not be supported for offsite conversion events including demographic breakdowns like age, gender and region.

Facebook is introducing modeled reporting for its one-day click-through attribution window accounting for events that are no longer reported. However, in order to account for data sharing limitations, modeling will no longer be used for seven-day click-through and one-day click-through attribution windows.

Other features that will no longer be available include lift measurement for iOS 14 mobile app install and mobile app events campaigns, self-serve conversion lift and the ability to measure the incremental impact of Facebook advertising and advertising from other publishers via the cross-publisher conversion lift beta.

Data-driven attribution—the ability to assign fractional credit for a conversion to Facebook touchpoints based on their estimated incremental impact—will also no longer be available for iOS 14 app install campaigns.

Facebook wrote, “To reach iOS 14.5+ users, you will be required to create separate iOS 14 app install campaigns with one ad account per app, nine campaigns per app and five ad sets per campaign of the same optimization type.”

Mobile app custom audiences for inclusion, the ability to provide a link that brings people to a custom view after installation and iOS 14 app install campaigns for reach and frequency buying are no longer available.

Developers with Facebook apps that enable brands to run ads on Facebook will need to implement Marketing API changes including mandatory new API fields, API deprecations and changed behavior for existing endpoints.

The social network said most of these changes were made available as of Jan. 19, and they will be required following the expected general availability of iOS 14.5 next week.

Finally, Facebook previously revealed that it will exclusively use bidding to fill ads in IOS apps for Audience Network, writing, “Bidding has proven to help publishers maximize their revenue and increase operational efficiency versus waterfall, so we are continuing to accelerate our shift to becoming a bidding-only demand source to help publishers manage changes introduced with the general availability release of iOS 14.5+.”

Steps required to continue monetizing iOS apps on Audience Network include:

  • Updating all iOS apps to Audience Network SDK 6.2.1 or higher.
  • Implementing the Advertising Tracking Enabled tag for each event in order to inform Facebook whether to use that event to deliver personalized ads.
  • Add the suggested SKAdNetwork IDs to the Xcode project’s Info.plist in order for advertisers to measure the success of ad campaigns.

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