apple iOS changes



By this stage, you’ve probably heard the news that Apple’s upcoming iOS14 update is going to have some pretty significant impacts for businesses advertising on Facebook. At TDP it’s known even got its own notorious hashtag… #AppleGate. 


As digital marketers, I feel like we’ve been training for this our whole career for this [cue Rocky montage music in my head] and the big day is finally here where we need to welcome change with open arms. 


We didn’t choose this path because it was stable and known, we chose it because it’s new and exciting and so we invite you to come on the journey with us as we dodge and weave these changes to make sure we’re still going to be able to see the results we know and love from one of our favourite digital marketing platforms. 

If it sounds like we’re pretty chill about this whole thang, it’s because we’re feeling pretty prepared. We thought we might be able to help you feel the same too! #sharingiscaring


But first, what actually are the changes? 


There are a few things about to happen, but probably the most significant is the fact that every app sold on the Apple store will need to make available to Apple how they track and use data collected in their app. They’ll then need to implement a pop-up prompt for all users of their app that asks users to either opt in or opt out. 


If users opt in, we’ll be able to largely* track their activity as normal as they move from the app to your website [ie. through those epic FB ads you’ve been runnin’], if they opt out, we’ll lose a lot of visibility on where they go after interacting with the ad. 


This matters for a few reasons: 

  • Some of FB’s shiniest functions [like dynamic advertising] utilise data to personalise ads to the user and this will no longer exist as it does currently
  • Less tracked activity means less opportunities to retarget – we expect to see website custom audiences shrinking in size 
  • Reporting and attribution is going to impacted as Facebook can’t attribute events in the same way it does right now


*There are some updates to tracking that Facebook needs to make to comply with old mate Apple’s new policies


image of permissions prompt on Apple iPhone


Before you panic, just hear us out! 


If like us you’re a little bit obsessed with Facebook advertising, these changes can feel like a bit of a bummer because we’ve gotten used to things as they are. 


The key thing to remember though is that while the functions and reporting might change, the great results you see from your advertising doesn’t have to. 


Users will still be hanging out on socials, your ads are still gonna look amazing and draw clicks and once someone gets to your website they’re not going to be able to resist your amazing products/services. That part will remain the same! 


Every app and every advertiser is going through this so while the rules have changed at least we’re all on the same playing field! 


Facebook is historically pretty good at adapting too so we’re pretty sure they’ll come up with some fancy new tools to get excited about sometime in the not too distant future. 


A lot of things are a little bit unknown…. Like when the changes are happening [Apple is very good at keeping secrets!] or how many people will opt out in each region, but what we do know is what you can do to get ready, so we’ve broken it into steps below.


Step 1: Verify your domain 


To track any website activity through Facebook you’ll need to have a verified site. 


It’s pretty straightforward is the good news but it does depend on how you’ve set up your domain and which website platform you use. 


To kick off the process, head to your Business Manager and ‘Business Settings’. On the left-hand side you’ll see ‘Brand Safety’ and under that is ‘Domains’. Simply click ‘Add’ and type in your website domain. 


From here you’re going to need to install that .txt on your website either directly through your backend settings or by contacting your DNS host.


screenshot of editing DNS settings


Once you’ve added it in you can then click ‘Verify’. It can take up to 72 hours so you might need to be a little bit patient! 


Step 2: Aggregate your events


As part of the changes you’ll only be able to optimise for 8 events per domain. For most small businesses this isn’t going to be too tricky which is great news. 


To do this, you’ll need to use Facebook’s new ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’ tool. To find this head to your Business Manager and navigate to the ‘Events Manager’.


Aggregated Event Measurement tool on Facebook



Once in the tool you’ll need to rank your pixel events in order of importance. For ecommerce sites, we’ve been prioritising purchases and then each of the events we optimise for most underneath. 


You’ll still be able to track your other events on the list, just not optimise for them and if people opt out you will lose visibility of all but your number one event so keep that in mind! 


Make sure you think about this carefully as each update takes up to 72 hours and will mean that your ads might not run in the meantime. 


Step 3: Get ready for the winds of change to start blowin’


You may have noticed a ‘Resource Centre’ tab pop up in your Ads Manager. Here is where Facebook will give you the lowdown on any ads you need to update before the change happens. If you act on these you should be able to keep running your ads without interruption. #yay


If you lose any functionality, retargeting or attribution you’ve been relying on now’s your time to dust off that strategy hat and get to work. We know you got this, this is why we test and learn and as a result, your time to totally shine! 


We’re making changes as we get more info as we want to make sure we know all of the information before we jump the gun! Keep an eye on notifications in Facebook to see the updates as they happen because just like the rest of us, they’re figuring it out as they go! 


On that note, we’ll let you get cracking on laying that groundwork so you’re in tip-top shape by the time those changes roll around. We hope you’re feeling a little bit more chill about the whole situation than you were approximately 5 mins ago! 😁


Remember that we’ve got your back and if you’re looking to stay up to date on the changes all you need to do is follow along on our Insty. You can also strategise with us if you’re keen in our very next round of our Paid Ads Bootcamp which conveniently happens to be launching in March.