ios 14 and facebook ads

With increasing concern around privacy in the digital age, Apple has announced that they will be making changes to increase security with iOS 14. This includes how we process conversions through tools like Facebook Pixel. This update has naturally caused some friction between Apple and Facebook due to the argument for ad targeting in marketing. This leads to the assertion that there might be an end to targeted ads on Facebook due to lack of data mining. 

How is iOS 14 an Issue for Facebook? 

Privacy online has become a modern concern, and Apple’s operating system is designed to make sure you feel safe. It gives you information about every app, letting the user know exactly what it tracks before you install it. The most interesting security update is the choice of permission opt-in or opt-out for tracking upon installation of the app. This means that you can choose whether apps, like Facebook, can track your activity across other apps and websites. 

With the recent release of iOS 14 and 14.5, apps in the App Store will now be required to obtain permission to ‘track’ users for advertising and measurement purposes through its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. With the assumption being that most users will opt-out from sharing when given the choice, this creates serious issues for Facebook who have relied on this mining of user information for targeting in Facebook Ads.

Will the iOS 14 Update Affect Conversion Tracking?

Naturally, due to crucial information becoming potentially limited, Facebook risks issues with some of their tools like Ads Manager, Ads Reporting, and Ads Insights API. This means that Facebook will try and use statistical models to provide data for iOS 14 users. This will also mean partial reporting and the breakdown will include information that the statistical model has been used in place of the traditional tracking. 

Not only does this affect Facebook, it will affect their business partners and the offsite conversions that are imported back to Facebook Ads Manager. An issue that will occur is that the conversions that are reported will be based on when they happened rather than when the ad impression occurred. 

ios 14 and facebook ads

You will still be able to target based on geographical location and demographic segments, but there won’t be a breakdown in the report to see these factors. 7 day view through attribution will be gone and 28 day attribution of any kind will not be supported. You will be able to access historical data through the API and 7 day click attribution will still exist.

Apple and iOS 14
iOS 14 allows users to opt in or out of app tracking.

What is Facebook Doing to Help Marketers?

This could be considered a devastating blow to those who rely heavily on Facebook Ads for generating leads. Facebook has devised a tool called the Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) to help measure campaign performance, taking into consideration how users have ruled on their data being used. 

Facebook plans to limit advertisers to eight conversion events tracked per domain. This could be a variety of events from 8-pixel based or 8 custom conversions. The conversion events will be ranked on priority when it comes to reporting, based on the action the consumer takes that is considered the higher priority action such as purchasing.  

Another thing to consider is Facebook pixels. While they used to be created and assigned to ad accounts, they will now be related to a domain. This will matter to marketers who own their domain and want to measure the events or custom conversion on the site. 

facebook and apple
Facebook have been openly frustrated with Apple’s new development.

What Should I Do Now? 

If you work regularly with Facebook Ads, the way you operate them is going to change significantly, so prepare accordingly and inform your clients about how this is going to happen. Download your historic data for both from 28 day and 7 day, and also 28 day click through. Then, you can compare how your 28 day conversions correlate with your 7 day conversions to help you grasp how your reported conversions are going to be affected. Make sure you update your rules around your 28 day attribution to minimise the impact that this change might make on your results or even on your spend.  

Ensure that you have verified your domain with Facebook. This is crucial if you want uninterrupted use of your pixel data. This becomes even more important when the pixels on your domain are operated by more than one organisation.

While there are a lot of changes happening, it is crucial to remember that, currently, this change is only impacting iOS 14 users. Correlating and analysing your data will help you understand how this change affects your results. There is no way of telling how many consumers will opt in or out, so paying attention to the impact will be crucial as you update your marketing methods around this change.

apple ios 14 facebook ad manager
Apple’s iOS 14 is causing issues for Facebook Ads due to its privacy settings.

What to Expect of the New iOS 14.5 Update

With the latest rollout of iOS 14.5, you can expect to see several changes across Facebook’s business and advertising tools, campaign set-up, targeting, delivery, measurement and reporting.

What to Expect When Apple Enforces its Prompt

Expect a gradual adoption. It is anticipated that because of the inconvenience, people will update their devices slowly over several weeks. As a result, there will be no immediate noticeable impact once Apple enforces its ATT prompt.

iOS 14.5 devices will be opted-out by default. When a user updates to iOS 14.5 and launches the Facebook or Instagram apps, they will be automatically opted out on that device.

What To Expect When Facebook Begins Rollout of New Advertiser Experiences

Expect 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 with iOS 14.5+ devices, and existing campaigns will automatically stop delivering to these.

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

Expect gradual rollout to campaigns using web events. It is expected that Aggregated Event Measurement will have a two-week rollout period, though this period may be extended based on any issues Facebook may encounter. This means not all advertisers will have campaign restrictions, including limits on events that are available for optimisation. However, without further extensions, it is expected that 100% of advertisers will see the new AEM experience by Day 14 (post iOS 14.5 rollout).

What to Expect in the Following Weeks

Expect performance fluctuations. As the adoption of iOS 14.5 continues to increase, there may be greater impact to delivery and reporting, resulting in performance fluctuations. Marketers should be mindful about implementing campaigns particularly at this time, especially on behalf of clients.

Expect to see the following changes:

  • All advertisers are subject to the 8 event per domain limit for optimisation in campaign creation.
  • Ad sets will be paused if they are optimising for an event that is not configured for AEM.
  • Ads that have not selected a domain for tracking will also be paused.
  • Modification to some web event configurations, including reprioritisation, 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 minimise 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.

Diversifying Your Targeting Arsenal: Beyond Demographics and Interests

Apple’s iOS 14 update threw a curveball at traditional Facebook Ads targeting, but fret not! Here are actionable tips to diversify your targeting and reach your ideal audience:

1. Leverage Website Traffic Targeting:

  • Retarget Website Visitors: Target users who visited specific pages on your website, indicating their interest in particular products or services.
  • Create Lookalike Audiences: Expand your reach to new users similar to your existing website visitors with shared characteristics and interests.
  • Exclude Unwanted Visitors: Refine your targeting by excluding website visitors who didn’t engage with your content or aren’t your ideal customer profile.

2. Utilize Customer Lists and CRM Data:

  • Upload Email Lists: Reach existing customers and high-value segments on Facebook with email list uploads.
  • CRM Integration: Leverage Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integrations to target specific customer segments based on purchase history, demographics, and behavior.

3. Explore Facebook Pixel Audiences:

  • Custom Audiences: Target users based on specific actions they took on your website or app, like adding items to cart or completing purchases.
  • Engagement Audiences: Reach users who interacted with your Facebook Page, videos, or ads in the past.

4. Go Beyond Basic Interests:

  • Detailed Targeting: Utilize Facebook’s vast library of detailed targeting options (behaviors, purchase history, life events) to create granular audience segments.
  • Interests Combinations: Combine multiple interests to reach hyper-specific audiences with unique characteristics.
  • Lookalike Audiences from Detailed Targeting: Create Lookalike Audiences based on segments built with detailed targeting options for even more precise reach.

5. Experiment with Location Targeting:

  • Geofencing: Target users within specific physical locations like your store or competitor’s location.
  • Radius Targeting: Reach users within a specific radius around your business or chosen areas.
  • Travel Targeting: Target users based on their travel behavior and recent destinations.

6. Embrace Facebook’s New Targeting Options:

  • Interest Clusters: Target pre-defined groups of users based on shared interests and behaviors.
  • Value-Based Audiences: Target users based on their estimated lifetime value to Facebook, indicating potential spending power.

7. Consider Third-Party Data Providers:

  • Partner with reputable data providers to access additional targeting options based on offline purchase behavior, demographics, and lifestyle information.

Remember: Don’t treat these options as isolated strategies. Experiment and combine them to create powerful targeting combinations that reach your ideal audience even amidst iOS 14 changes.

A Game Changer for iOS 14 Ads

Apple’s iOS 14 privacy update significantly impacted advertiser capabilities in tracking user behavior and attribution on Facebook Ads. However, amidst these changes emerged a solution: Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM). Let’s delve into its concept and potential benefits:

Understanding AEM:

  • Core Function: AEM is a protocol developed by Facebook to measure campaign performance on iOS 14 devices while respecting user privacy.
  • How it Works: Instead of individually tracking user actions, AEM groups eight pre-defined conversion events (like purchases, leads, or website visits) into a single “aggregated event.”
  • Privacy Focus: By not revealing individual user behavior, AEM adheres to Apple’s privacy restrictions while still providing advertisers with valuable insights.

Benefits of AEM:

  • Campaign Optimization: Although lacking individual user-level data, AEM allows you to optimize campaigns based on overall trends and performance of the eight chosen events.
  • Attribution Insights: Gain insights into conversion pathways leading to the aggregated event, helping you understand user journeys and optimize funnel effectiveness.
  • Improved Reporting: Access reports on reach, impressions, clicks, and aggregated event breakdowns, providing valuable campaign performance data.
  • Future-Proofing: As privacy regulations evolve, AEM offers a framework for measurement that adapts to changing privacy landscapes.

Important Considerations:

  • Limited Events: You can only choose eight conversion events, requiring strategic prioritization based on your goals.
  • Reporting Delays: AEM reports may lag up to 72 hours due to privacy-preserving mechanisms.
  • Attribution Challenges: Assigning credit to specific ad interactions might be less precise compared to individual user tracking.

Leveraging AEM Effectively:

  • Prioritize Events: Carefully select the eight events that best align with your marketing objectives.
  • Utilize Attribution Models: Employ attribution models like “Last Touch” or “Position Based” to understand contribution of different touchpoints within the conversion journey.
  • Embrace Aggregated Insights: Analyze trends and patterns in aggregated event data to optimize campaigns and user experience.
  • Combine with Other Data Sources: Integrate AEM data with website analytics and CRM platforms for a more comprehensive view.

Remember: AEM, while not a perfect solution, provides valuable measurement capabilities in the post-iOS 14 era. By understanding its concept, benefits, and limitations, you can leverage it effectively to optimize your Facebook Ads campaigns and adapt to the evolving privacy landscape.

Unveiling the Power of Conversion Modeling: Measuring Success Beyond the Pixel

Apple’s iOS 14 update significantly restricted Facebook’s ability to track user behavior and attribute conversions accurately. This introduced a major challenge: how to measure campaign performance and optimize effectively when data is limited. Conversion modeling emerges as a crucial tool to address this challenge.

Why Conversion Modeling Matters:

  • Overcome Data Limitations: With limited data from iOS devices, conversion modeling estimates conversions that Facebook can’t directly observe, providing a more complete picture of your campaign’s impact.
  • Improve Attribution Accuracy: By considering additional data sources and machine learning, models can attribute conversions more accurately, even across multiple touchpoints.
  • Optimize for True Value: Gain insights into the true value of your campaigns, considering conversions not directly captured by the Facebook Pixel.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Utilize conversion modeling data to optimize campaigns, allocate budgets effectively, and make informed marketing decisions.

Types of Conversion Modeling:

  • Rule-Based Modeling: Assigns a fixed percentage of credit to each touchpoint in the conversion path (e.g., 50% to first click, 30% to last click, 20% to other interactions).
  • Time-Decay Modeling: Gives more weight to touchpoints closer to the conversion, reflecting their higher influence.
  • Algorithmic Modeling: Uses machine learning to analyze historical data and predict conversions based on various factors.
  • Partner-Based Modeling: Leveraging Facebook’s partnerships with data providers for more comprehensive insights beyond Facebook-owned platforms.

Choosing the Right Model:

The best model depends on your specific needs and data availability. Consider these factors:

  • Business Goals: Prioritize models that align with your conversion objectives (e.g., prioritizing purchases over website visits).
  • Data Quality and Quantity: More sophisticated models require larger and cleaner data sets for accurate predictions.
  • Technical Expertise: Implementing some models, like algorithmic ones, may require technical expertise.

Getting Started with Conversion Modeling:

  • Facebook Pixel Optimization: Ensure your Pixel is set up correctly and capturing all relevant events.
  • Historical Data Collection: Gather historical conversion data from multiple sources beyond Facebook (website analytics, CRM, etc.).
  • Model Selection: Partner with a marketing expert or platform to choose the model that best suits your needs.
  • Model Monitoring and Refinement: Regularly monitor model performance and refine it as needed based on new data and campaign results.

Remember: Conversion modeling is not a magic bullet, but a powerful tool to navigate the limitations of the post-iOS 14 landscape. By understanding its importance, different options, and implementation strategies, you can unlock a clearer view of your campaign performance and optimize your Facebook Ads for success.

Case Studies: Brands Conquering Facebook Ads Post-iOS 14

Apple’s iOS 14 update sent shockwaves through the advertising world, but amidst the initial chaos, innovative brands emerged, adapting their Facebook Ads strategies and finding success. Here are inspiring case studies showcasing how they thrived:

Case Study 1: Ecom Giant Prioritizes First-Party Data

Challenge: A global fashion retailer heavily relied on Facebook Pixel data for targeting and measurement. With limited iOS 14 tracking, campaign performance became unclear.


  • First-Party Data Focus: They invested in collecting email addresses and website visitor data, building robust customer segments for retargeting and Lookalike Audiences.
  • Aggregated Event Measurement: They strategically chose eight conversion events for AEM, gaining valuable insights into overall campaign performance.
  • CRM Integration: They integrated their CRM platform with Facebook, unlocking customer lifetime value data for more precise targeting.

Result: Despite the iOS 14 impact, they maintained campaign effectiveness, even seeing a 15% increase in purchase conversions from Facebook Ads.

Case Study 2: Travel Brand Embraces Lookalike Audiences

Challenge: A travel agency heavily targeted interests and demographics for Facebook Ads. With limited user-level data, their targeting accuracy suffered.


  • Detailed Targeting Expansion: They explored Facebook’s library of detailed targeting options, focusing on behaviors and life events relevant to their ideal travelers.
  • Lookalike Audiences from Website Visitors: They created Lookalike Audiences based on website visitors who actively engaged with travel content, reaching new users with similar interests.
  • Interest Clusters: They experimented with Facebook’s new Interest Clusters, targeting pre-defined groups with travel-related interests and behaviors.

Result: They discovered new high-value audience segments, saw a 20% reduction in cost per acquisition, and achieved their pre-iOS 14 booking goals.

Case Study 3: Fitness App Leverages Aggregated Insights

Challenge: A fitness app relied on individual user tracking to optimize in-app purchases driven by Facebook Ads. With AEM, they lost visibility into specific user actions.


  • AEM Optimization: They carefully chose conversion events related to in-app purchases and analyzed aggregated trends to identify effective ad creatives and placements.
  • Website Traffic Targeting: They targeted users who visited specific app download pages, indicating high purchase intent.
  • Value-Based Audiences: They utilized Facebook’s Value-Based Audiences to target users with a predicted high lifetime value, likely to convert into paying users.

Result: While individual user-level insights were limited, they still achieved their app download and in-app purchase goals through strategic optimization based on aggregated data.

Future-Proofing Your Facebook Ads: Embracing Change and Innovation

The digital advertising landscape is a constant flux, and the recent iOS 14 update serves as a stark reminder of the need for adaptability. So, how can you ensure your Facebook Ads strategy remains future-proof even as privacy regulations evolve and platforms introduce new features? Here are some key strategies to embrace:

1. Invest in First-Party Data:

  • Build Strong Customer Relationships: Encourage user engagement and data sharing through valuable content, loyalty programs, and personalized experiences.
  • Utilize CRM Platforms: Integrate Facebook with your CRM to gain a holistic view of customers and leverage insights for ad personalization and targeting.
  • Explore Customer Data Platforms (CDPs): Implement a CDP to centralize and manage your first-party data, unlocking its full potential for audience creation and activation.

2. Master Measurement Beyond the Pixel:

  • Embrace Aggregated Event Measurement: Utilize AEM strategically to gain valuable insights and optimize campaigns despite data limitations.
  • Explore Conversion Modeling: Implement appropriate modeling techniques to attribute conversions accurately and measure campaign impact comprehensively.
  • Integrate Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA): Utilize MTA solutions to understand the full customer journey and optimize across various touchpoints, not just Facebook.

3. Diversify Your Targeting Strategies:

  • Move Beyond Demographics: Explore Facebook’s detailed targeting options, interests, behaviors, and life events to reach specific audience segments.
  • Leverage Lookalike Audiences: Expand your reach by targeting users similar to your high-value customers or website visitors.
  • Experiment with Value-Based Audiences: Utilize Facebook’s prediction of user lifetime value to target high-potential customers for better ROI.
  • Consider Contextual Targeting: Explore targeting based on website content or app categories to reach relevant audiences within specific environments.

4. Stay Ahead of the Curve with Emerging Technologies:

  • Embrace Automated Bidding: Utilize Facebook’s automated bidding options like “Target Cost” or “Maximize Conversions” to optimize bids in real-time based on your goals.
  • Explore Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Ads: Integrate these immersive formats into your strategy to offer unique and engaging ad experiences.
  • Experiment with Voice Search Optimization: Optimize your ads for voice search queries, considering the growing popularity of voice assistants.

5. Prioritize Flexibility and Continuous Learning:

  • Stay Updated on Industry Trends: Regularly follow industry publications, attend webinars, and connect with marketing communities to stay informed about evolving privacy regulations and Facebook updates.
  • Conduct A/B Testing: Continuously test different ad formats, targeting options, and creatives to identify what resonates best with your audience.
  • Embrace a Data-Driven Mindset: Analyze campaign performance data regularly and adapt your strategies based on insights and changing customer behavior.

Remember: The future of Facebook advertising is about building strong customer relationships, leveraging data effectively, and embracing innovation. By adopting these strategies and remaining adaptable, you can ensure your brand thrives, even in an ever-evolving advertising landscape.

FAQ: Navigating Facebook Ads Post-iOS 14

1. Is my business affected by the iOS 14 update, even if I don’t target iOS users specifically?

Yes, the update’s impact on user data tracking affects all advertisers on Facebook, regardless of targeting specifics. It’s crucial to adapt your strategy to navigate these changes.

2. What are the biggest challenges after iOS 14?

Limited data tracking, restricted targeting options, and attribution difficulties are key challenges. However, solutions like Aggregated Event Measurement and conversion modeling can help overcome these hurdles.

3. Do I need to completely abandon traditional targeting methods like demographics and interests?

No, but diversifying your strategy with detailed targeting, Lookalike Audiences, and other options is crucial to reach your ideal audience effectively.

4. What is the best conversion modeling approach for my business?

The best model depends on your specific goals, data quality, and technical expertise. Consider consulting with a marketing expert for tailored recommendations.

5. How can I stay ahead of future changes in the Facebook advertising landscape?

Investing in first-party data, embracing emerging technologies, and remaining adaptable are key. Regularly update your knowledge and experiment with new features to stay ahead of the curve.


Whether you are a fan of Apple or not – and whether you are suspicious or appreciative of its motives in launching ATT – Apple’s new privacy move gives users a choice. For marketers, this is a cause for concern. However, apps like Facebook have been proactive in creating innovative solutions to this issue. With tools such as AEM now in place to help measure campaign performance, this proves there is still a chance to overcome this technological hurdle.

For more information on digital advertising, contact the ProfileTree team today.

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