After running a series of info sessions on the potential impacts of Apple's IDFA update on its ad products back in January, Facebook is now holding another information session as it looks to ensure its ad partners are aware of the various ways that Apple's changes to user data tracking could impact campaign performance.
The new session, being run on April 7th, will see Facebook product experts explaining how the IDFA update will impact ad targeting, optimization and performance reporting, by reducing the amount of information that Facebook will be able to track.
As explained by Facebook:
"Like the rest of the industry, we are waiting for Apple to confirm the date it will begin enforcing its App Tracking Transparency prompt, having previously announced it would be “early spring.” In the meantime, we want to emphasize the importance of implementing our guidance and taking our recommended actions prior to Apple’s prompt enforcement."
Among the various expected impacts of the IDFA update for Facebook ads will be:
- Reduced capacity to track user actions, including conversions, which will subsequently impact targeting and retargeting campaigns
- Reduced data reporting, particularly related to attribution and measuring the effectiveness of ad campaigns. Facebook has already flagged the removal of its 28-day attribution data, which will result in fewer reported conversions for your campaigns.
- Reduced effectiveness for Audience Network campaigns, which rely on in-app tracking to present relevant ads to users
Essentially, with more people expected to opt-out of Facebook's data tracking, you'll have fewer tools to understand campaign performance, and to target people at the right stage. You'll still have access to the information people post to Facebook, so region targeting, demographics, etc. But the more advanced elements will likely be lessened - depending on how many users do choose to opt-out when served with Apple's new data-tracking prompts.
As Facebook notes, Apple hasn't yet provided an official launch date for its IDFA update, but based on previous guidance, it should be coming in the next couple of months.
There have been some issues that could be holding up the change, however. Aside from Facebook's very public opposition to the updated data tracking process, Apple's also facing a more significant challenge in China, where China's tech giants have vowed to implement a new mobile identifier, dubbed CAID, which they claim replaces IDFA tracking without breaching Apple's rules. But, it likely does. According to The Financial Times, CAID enables Chinese apps to continue tracking most of the same data that Apple's update would restrict, which likely violates Apple's rules.
That could put Apple in a tough situation, where it may need to confront China's big tech players, and even remove their apps from the App Store in response. That could then lead to further complications with the Chinese Government, and may lead to other problems for the company. For example, the majority of Apple's device components are manufactured in China.
If Apple chooses to ignore CAID, however, that could put China in a unique position, while it would also incentivize other regions to create their own workaround processes along similar lines.
There's a lot at stake, and it could potentially force Apple to re-think the change entirely. Either way, we still don't have any definitive date for the IDFA roll-out as yet.
As noted, Facebook's been working to keep advertisers informed about the potential changes to their campaigns via webinars, a dedicated IDFA mini-site, help prompts and more.
This new webinar is another element, and it could be worth tuning in for those advertisers who are still trying to get their heads around the various potential impacts.
Again, we won't know the full extent of these changes till it's actually rolled out, but it's worth preparing yourself for what's coming, in anticipation of a pending announcement.
You can register for Facebook's info session here.