One bad Apple?

Apple’s latest IOS updates is going to have a sizeable effect on how we market to our audiences on social apps. Lionize hosted a unique roundtable discussion for our clients, with social marketer, Ian Laurie at our new digs in Barangaroo. Below is a snapshot, of what we discovered.

There is a lot more depth, but we’ll cover some of the most important changes. These will be very dynamic, with daily updates. Only time and testing will show us the overall impact. Our event concentrated on Facebook however, any app on an Apple device will be affected such as, Insta, Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest or LinkedIn.

What is it?

Apple is introducing privacy changes to all apps on the App Store. It’s called ‘App Tracking Transparency‘ or ‘ATT’ and it forces Facebook to change their platform significantly or else they get banned from the App Store (not an option).

 It will prompt all app users to ‘opt out’ of their personal data being collected. Those that choose to opt out will limit an apps ability to measure any ‘events’ (such as conversions). This means that the ability to breakdown a user’s data into insightful, personalised data has been limited.

What are the changes?

  1. Attribution windows are changing from a default of 28 click and a 1-day view too:
  • 1-day click
  • 7-day click (default after prompt enforcement)
  • 1-day click and 1-day view
  • 7-day click and 1-day view (initial default)
  • This will reduce the number of any events e.g. ‘purchase event’ or ‘website land events’, reducing your audience numbers and conversion numbers. Your numbers are likely to look quite different after the change so, benchmarking will be tougher.
  1. It limits the ability for an app like Facebook to view cross-platform measurement data. So, when someone moves from to app, to another app etc, Facebook won’t recognise them as the same person.
  2. There will be a delay in Apple passing back data to Facebook systems, (for up to 2 days). An event will be reported at the time of conversion vs the actual ad impression.
  3. There will be a limit of x8 conversion events on any single domain/app. You’ll need to decide on your 8 events and they need to be prioritised. Such as; ‘Website lands,’ ‘content view,’ ‘add to cart,’ ‘purchase,’ ‘subscribe,’ ‘custom conversion’ etc.
  4. You will not be able to break down events into insightful data, as all events will be aggregated (Aggregated Event Management). For example, your ‘purchase event’ won’t be broken down into age, gender, region or placement.
  5. Any new events created will be inactive for 72 hours.
  6. If you are an app-based business:
  • You’ll lose the ability to target based on ‘events’ but you can still exclude audiences based on events.
  • You will need to assign your new events scheme as soon as possible.
  • All app campaigns must be in a single ad account, with a maximum of 9 campaigns. These aggregated campaign sets can provide some audience overview info.

When will it happen?

Any day now, Apple will implement these changes. Facebook is changing as we speak in preparation, so your campaigns could or will be limited.

How could it affect what I am doing?

It’s worth noting for activity that continues you will have limited or no change to how your Facebook marketing is affecting your bottom line. Audiences will still see your ads and the effect is the same – it’s just harder/different to set up and report on activity.

  • Your numbers may reduce, mainly event reporting and audience sizes.
  • You may have activity stopped if it doesn’t fit the required setup changes.
  • You may lose your targeting capability in the near future.

What do I need to do right now?

  1. Verify your domain,
  2. Define your x8 ‘events’ and prioritise them,
  3. Start looking at your data within the upcoming attribution windows i.e. 7-day click and 1-day view, to see what numbers you are likely to get after the changes,
  4. Take a snapshot of activity for benchmarking and proxy calculations, you might or might not lose this but its best to have it. Download your entire, or recent, reporting history at the top level, and then more granular i.e. by campaign or demographics, region etc.

What will I need to do soon?

Test new setups and strategies within the new landscape. Get to a point where you know what works in the new world order of things.

Why are Apple doing this?

There are probably multiple reasons. The official line is that they’ve listened to consumers concerns over privacy. There is definitely a social demand for this. Unofficially “Information is power” and maybe Apple wants to take those reins? There are definitely positive financial implications. Whatever the reason or outcome, we can help you navigate it.

Where can I find more information on it?

Verify your domain

Facebook Announcement

Attribution Changes

App Tracking Transparency

Webinar for App Campaigns

Webinar for Web Campaigns