As some of you may have heard, Apple is launching something as part of iOS14 known as App Tracking Transparency (ATT). Facebook has been relatively vocal on how this update will negatively affect the small business user on Facebook. From today, Facebook is beginning to implement changes in preparation for ATT and below we’re going to explain what we know.

What is App Tracking Transparency?

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, summed it up as a users’ right to choose the data collected about them and how it is used.

Once ATT is rolled out across users devices, they will be prompted when they open an app for the first time about what is tracked, and then the user must choose whether they want to allow tracking or refuse it.

How does this affect Facebook?

What makes Facebook Advertising work well is the ability to track users at various touchpoints. The data gathered lets Advertisers create ads that relate to where a user is in their journey with discovery and conversion with a company.

By allowing the user to opt-out of this tracking, Facebook won’t serve them any fewer adverts on platforms’ family of apps and partners. However, the adverts may be less relevant.

ATT example Data Screen
An example of the ATT Information Screen on an iOS Device

What Facebook is doing to prepare

The first thing you may have noticed is they have put a warning bar in the Ads Manager.

They also took out a full-page print advert in The Wall Street Journal condemning these changes and have been vocal about it on multiple other platforms.

The main thing they are doing is completely changing attribution models on the platform. Previously the standard model was 28 Day Click and 1 Day View.

This attribution model meant anyone who had seen your ad in the last 24 hours or clicked on it during the previous 28 days as the last touchpoint in a customers’ marketing journey who converted would be attributed to the Ad they clicked or viewed last in this timeframe.

Facebook will be removing the 28-Day View, 7-Day View and 28-Day Click attribution options from the Ads Manager, and making 7-Day Click the default window, removing View from the equation altogether.

What this looks like

At a glance, once your Ads Manager switches, all your figures will appear to drop. In one example from our accounts, what would previously have a Return on Advertising Spend of 20.03 would now show as 12.73 on Facebook Ads Manager.

In reality, this only reflects the difference in how the data is reported. Over 28 days, the website’s actual sales should not change, and if you could still see the data, the final results over 28 days would still be 20.03.

But wait, there’s more…

The change in reporting is just Facebook preparing for how Apple will report users data from iOS14+ devices going forward, meaning all reporting is in line with these changes.

It does not however account for what will happen when Apple allows users to opt-out of data sharing. There are ways to estimate how it may affect the data, but no one knows for until Apple rolls this out.

Further Reading

Facebook – How Apple’s iOS 14 release may affect your ads

Apple – User Privacy and Data Use

Search Engine Journal – Facebook Advertisers Brace for iOS14 Tracking Prompt Fallout