Facebook Advertising will be affected by the Apple iOS 14 privacy release

So what’s the big deal?

Apple is launching their newest update, the iOS14 Privacy release, the main purpose of this release is the offering new features, with a chance to opt-out of data sharing with Apps. Basically, Apple will allow all users, with the new update, the ability to consent to have their data captured. Although this may seem like a good idea to the general population it presents a challenge for the marketing industry. 

Throughout the evolution of digital marketing, we have found ways to adapt our strategies to appeal to the consumer. The main power of digital marketers has been the ability to see consumer behavior data through platforms like Facebook and Google. Put simply up until February all Facebook advertisers are able to use Facebook’s user data to create audiences around customers’ likes, behaviors and lifestyles. However, after February 2021 this will change and there will be new bounds to work within.

What does this mean for marketers and brands?

iOS users make up over half of all Australian Mobile operating systems. It is safe to say that these same users make up a large portion of all Mobile app users across the Facebook and Instagram network. 

The recent Apple iOS 14 software announcement will change how Facebook advertises. In short, it will likely affect how marketers plan, strategise and evaluate Facebook campaigns. The main barrier,  Apple’s new Private Click Measurement (PCM). Which will no longer support some key app to web conversion measurement, as well as cross-domain measurement.

In response Facebook has tried to fill these tracking gaps with their Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) setup. Unfortunately, there will still be limitations on our ability to gain consumer data. It will mainly affect processes such as transmission across App-Web attribution and flexibility for other platform privacy propositions etc.

We get where Apple is coming from:

Apple’s idea is for people to have greater control on how apps are using their personal data. We know that privacy and security are becoming more important topics as people are becoming more educated about the repercussions of the misuse of their personal information. 

This all sounds good in theory however as a brand or a marketer building your community, capturing and using first-party audience data is crucial and now it will be a little more limited. It might affect your campaign performance in the short term, but if you look at all the other Media platforms available there are still a variety of choices when developing and experimenting with your marketing campaigns. You don’t need to be close-minded, at the end of the day the key thing is to remember that we have an advantage. We are constantly interacting and building up a robust community and a direct relationship with current and potential consumers (with their permission) to use their first-party data – that is a step towards quality.

This is not the end of digital marketing…

At NLOM we work closely with Facebook and we have sat in on a few Facebook evaluation and strategy sessions around this new update. So we want to share with you what recommendations Facebook has provided us to help you adjust and accommodate for the changes to come. 

As a marketer you need to look at this situation from a wider perspective, the key facts are:

  1. You will have a whole new framework that will include less consumer insight from Facebook than before –  but there are still options available to manage your Facebook ads. 
  2. There is a chance that this iOS 14 update could affect more than just data capture for Facebook, it also applies to app tracking from all apps from the Apple App store. 

Yes! Things will be changing, but we will grow and adapt with them. We believe with proper planning and a true understanding of your own target audience, we will be able to continue our strategies, perhaps with different strategies.

“We believe clients need to monitor the cost value return on Facebook channels, and experiment or supplement with alternative strategy from other channels.  We always felt search is a strong channel, as it is tied to consumers’ intent, and video channels are also much underrated. For this to work efficiently, requires an integrated marketing strategy.”

Andrew Wong -Head of Marketing Technology

The technical stuff…

The Apple iOS 14 update is centered around the privacy and security features. So in an effort to provide more transparency there are opt out options to help provide users with more control over how their data is stored and used. 

Apple’s iOS 14 will impact how all apps including Facebook receive and process events from tracking tools like the Facebook pixel. Once these changes take effect, website domains currently sending events will be configured (by Facebook) to send no more than 8 default events per domain. Any ad sets optimizing for events outside of this new event limit will be paused. This is important to understandand, and we will be helping clients prioritise the 8 events in order to better prepare for these coming changes.  Learning about how to prepare for this ahead of time will help to prevent your ad sets from being paused and minimise any adverse effects on Facebook campaign performance.


This will only apply if users have opted into share their data. If users don’t opt in, Facebook ads personalisation and performance reporting will be limited across both app and web conversion events.

It’s also important to note with these changes are that the account attribution window will be replaced with a new attribution setting starting later in February 2021. These changes won’t impact ad delivery, the new default attribution setting of 7-day click and 1-day view will result in a decrease in the number of reported conversions ( ie. no more 28day windows).

So what can be done to prepare for this change coming soon

Note: We will continue to update this post and share resources as these events unfold.

1. Make a plan!

2. Verify your Domain in Facebook Business Manager

This is one of the first things Facebook recommends in taking steps to prepare your campaigns. It’s a fairly simple and straightforward process. Domain verification allows you to manage editing permissions over your links. This has always been a part of best practice, but Facebook is especially highlighting this as the first step in this preparation process. 

3. Prioritise 8 key conversion events to track

With the new iOS 14 Privacy update, you will only be allowed to associate 8 conversion events for each Facebook Pixel. Which could be a blessing and a curse because it forces you to prioritise. But basically from what Facebook is saying “you will be limited to the use of 8 conversion events per domain (i.e. 8 <pixel, event> or <custom conversion> per domain). You will not need to make changes to the pixel or your Conversions API implementation as event selection will be done in Events Manager beginning early 2021. 

To do this you just really need to understand the events you are optimising towards and then outline them in order of priority from 1-8. This can be done in Events Manager. If you want to make any changes after this time period the minimum wait time is 3 days. Much longer than we’d like.

4. Ad Attribution windows will change – start your 7 day reporting window now

When looking at Facebook Ads attribution you will recognise the 1, 7 and 28 day click and view attribution window. But with these current changes will limit attribution windows to 7-day post click and 1 -day post view attribution. Jumping on this as soon as possible helps you establish more of a benchmark and prepare you for the upcoming changes. If you’ve only ever used 1 day attribution windows, consider this as an opportunity to setup and analyse more of that attribution data. 

You will be able to see this in your Ad Account, Attribution settings. Or ask us at Next Level about that. 

Next Level Advice 

Firstly don’t freak out, this isn’t the end of digital marketing as we know it. Change is hard but it is also new, embrace it.

The impact of the iOS 14 Privacy Update will going to be felt by all Facebook Advertisers and Marketers. However, this seems like it might be a single bump along the way to a more secure and responsible industry. 


“Facebook will lose some of the high-definition tracking signals.  In the short term, their precise targeting capabilities will be lowered.  However, data and analytics are at the heart of Facebook’s marketing platform. I am reasonably confident, they will be an alternative advertising model in the future.”

Andrew Wong – Head of Marketing Technology 


Jorge Linares Head of Campaign Management – has been leading our team throughout this transition states;

“The fact that we use Google Analytics as a source of truth helps us to have better clarity over how each of the channels is performing. We need to understand that even though we will lose visibility inside of Facebook ads, that doesn’t mean that conversions coming from this channel will stop happening, we just need to use other tools such as our Customer journey platform to understand how our advertising is helping to reach the goals that our clients have for this year, in 2021. 

There are many questions yet to be answered, we are working hard to make sure that we will be ready. As an agency we will help our clients with this transition, we embrace change every time as we know that every change brings new opportunities to get better, to be more creative, to generate new ideas, and drive the industry. Changes for Next Level are not a problem, they are our fuel.” 

Contact us at Next Level if you would like some more advice on how to get ready for the iOS 14 Privacy Update.