Table of Contents

How are the major channels/platforms reacting?

Levels of readiness and response vary across the digital platforms. Where some, such as Facebook, are very active with solutions and education, others are yet to show their hand.

It is likely that the smaller inventory suppliers will take the lead of Facebook and Google. That is, they will see how Facebook and Google respond and try to align their solution behind them to attempt to make mobile advertising less fragmented.


Facebook has announced it will comply with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework and SKAdNetwork. But there will be big changes to how campaigns are set up and run, in addition to the already discussed limitations on targeting tactics such as lookalike audiences and retargeting, and on attribution.

Facebook account and campaign set up

For app campaigns specifically, advertisers will be limited to 1 Ad Account per app for campaigns targeting iOS14 users. Those campaigns will need to be standalone and there will be a limit of 9 active campaigns per app and 5 ad sets per campaign of the same optimisation type.

You could use Automated App Ads (AAA) to help consolidate campaigns with its simplified structure of one campaign, one ad set, and one ad. Our experience shows this can deliver improved performance but you’ll generate fewer learnings and insights compared to a traditional App Install campaign.

For webbased campaigns, advertisers will be limited to the use of 8 conversion events per domain. Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are the most relevant to your business based on your activity (last 28 days). If necessary, you will then be able to change your configuration via a now-available (end of January) section in Events Manager.

If more than one event is completed by a user (i.e. “add to cart” and “purchase”), only the higher prioritised event will be reported. Reporting will be partial in Ads Manager and Events Manager for additional events outside of the priority 8 events.

After the changes from Apple, ad sets optimising for an event beyond the 8 that are prioritised will be paused.

When using Value optimisation, each purchase event will count as a minimum of 4 events toward the 8 event optimisation limit. This is because, as touched on before, for advertisers using dozens and hundreds of products and prices, Facebook will automatically create value sets (minimum of 4 e.g. £1-£5, £5-£50, £50-£500, £1000+) but we won’t be able to see the exact granular value with the new setup.

Advertisers will however be able to use events outside of the prioritised 8 events to create website custom audiences (depending on consent being granted).

It is important to note that when an event is changed, it will trigger a 72 hour cool down period before campaigns can deliver using changed events. So we recommend you prioritise your event as soon as possible before the changes come into effect.

Campaign Optimisation and targeting

As people adopt iOS14, the sizes of app connection audiences and Mobile App Custom Audiences (MACA) will decrease. New iOS14 ad campaigns will not be able to use MACA for inclusion targeting, but may continue using them for exclusion, though these audiences will become less effective at excluding people on iOS14 over time. These new iOS14 campaigns will also no longer be able to use app connections targeting.

Facebook will however continue to support the ability to run app install campaigns using Mobile App Install Optimisation, App Event Optimisation, Value Optimisation, and App Install with Event Optimisation through Automated App Ads (AAA).

If you have previously used Value Optimisation, value sets will be automatically assigned based on historical data and turned on in Events Manager.

From a mobile-web point of view, we expect that Website Custom Audiences (WCA) will also get smaller due to the loss of some events from iOS14 users. Advertisers using Dynamic Ads for retargeting may also see performance and audience size decrease due to the loss of some events from iOS14 users.


Facebook will be deprecating both 28-day lookback windows and its 7-day view window. All data for these windows will remain accessible via the Ads Insights API. The default attribution windows are moving from 7-day click-through and 1-day view-through to 7-day click-through only for all conversions and catalogue sales objective campaigns.

To support the measurement of web events on iOS devices, Facebook will introduce Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM) once Apple requires the ATT prompt. AEM intends to help advertisers measure campaign performance whilst considering consumers’ decisions about their data.

Reporting, like any other reporting using SKAdNetwork, will be slower with installs delayed by a minimum of 24 hours. Reporting will be at the campaign-level only, and ad-level & ad set data will be modeled. There will be no more demographic breakdowns (age, gender, regional, placement, etc.) for app install or post-install metrics. However, you’ll still be able to see the demographic make up in the Facebook audience you serve ads to.

Facebook is also warning brands might see decreases in performance and audience size for retargeting efforts, but that prospecting efforts like lookalikes and Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences will see minimal impact.

With the limited measurement capability of Apple’s SKAdNetwork API, we expect a drop in performance on all app optimisation campaigns, likely resulting in higher costs per action. Additionally, VO will transition from Ads Manager to Events Manager and value sets will need to be enabled.

Facebook Audience Network (FAN)

Facebook might deprecate FAN as it becomes a much less workable product for advertisers and less valuable for publishers.

Using Facebook Login for matching users

Facebook Login will not be available for matching users who have opted out of tracking on iOS14 devices. Facebook will soon be releasing an updated version of the Facebook SDK that will prevent a user from receiving targeted advertising and being accurately attributed by just using the Facebook Login.


Google is as yet less forthcoming with news on developments, but is starting to reveal its response. In late January it released this blog post addressing a few points. In summary:

  • Google will not request users give consent to IDFA tracking in its apps. As such, there will be no ATT prompt. This is the direct opposite of Facebook. This means there will be no ability to target retargeting or lookalike audiences from your data.
  • For app advertisers, it has released an updated version of its Google Analytics for Firebase with support for SKAdNetwork.
  • Google is continuing to invest in data ‘clean rooms’ like its Ads Data Hub product that allows for aggregated and anonymised data analysis without the advertiser actually accessing the raw data itself.
  • Google is warning that, as expected, visible performance may worsen.

Apple Search Ads (ASA)

Apple Search Ads will not be restricted to using SKAdNetwork. Instead, they will use Apple Ads Attribution for deterministic attribution. Some in the industry have complained that this might give Apple an advantage, and we are yet to see if Apple Ads Attribution will be made available on other channels.

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