Last year Apple announced that it would be making its IDFA (identifier for advertisers) opt-in to users with IOS 14, together with other privacy updates that impact advertisers. Apple postponed the rollout of this change until early 2021 and it is now expected that it will happen later this month (January). No specific date has yet been set.
Apple’s IDFA is used by Facebook for tracking, targeting and attribution. It is the way we are able to segment IOS users into 1st party audience lists for targeting (i.e. site visitors, or purchasers), exclude users from subsequent targeting, and optimise campaigns towards a specific conversion or event goal. With IOS users being encouraged to opt out of sharing IDFA with apps such as Facebook, this could have a significant impact on targeted advertising and campaign effectiveness. Facebook have been very vocal against these changes but, as it stands, are powerless to stop them.
Some major things that will be impacted will be the events that we currently optimise towards and our current attribution window will be limited moving forward. This will have an impact on our campaigns as we will no longer be able to track certain custom events and will need to revert back to the standard tracking events that Facebook have in place. Dependent on each advertiser, we would usually report back on a 28 day post click and a 1 day post view metric combined. However, with these changes we are not restricted and will be reporting back on a 7 day post click and a 1 day post view. This will result in a drop of conversions and so will impact the ability for us to optimise at greater speed. The platform learns quicker the higher the volume of conversions – we expect that advertisers are likely to be stuck in the learning phase for a little longer than usual.
Although the lead in changes is predominately coming from Facebook, it is going to affect other platforms with apps that operate in a similar advertising environment. Other platforms are yet to disclose the changes and impacts to their platforms.
The actual impact of these changes is still not fully known. However, we may expect a significant reduction in custom audience pools (to target lookalikes of converters). Along with a greater overlap between audiences increasing ad frequency without knowledge and a significant reduction in our ability to optimise campaigns for the most effective outcome (i.e. optimal conversion volume and CPA). We will be monitoring performance and the impact this may bring over the coming weeks.