What is the impact of the iPhone update on my Meta Ads?


You would have had to be living under a rock to not hear something about how the recent iPhone update (iOS14+) has impacted Facebook advertisers. You only need to login to Ads Manager and see warnings galore, and they’ve been there for over 12 months. But what does it actually mean? And what do you need to do in the short and long term? Are Facebook Ads ruined forever?

First of all, as I usually start these blogs about Facebook (now Meta) updates… DON’T PANIC. The change has come in by consumer demand, and it’s not a bad thing, it just means we need to work a bit harder (in the short term) and in the longer term, it can only get better.

In short – we expect to see all tracking pixels depreciated from the internet within the next two years (including the traditional Facebook Pixel). The Facebook Conversions API (CAPI) is here now, and is the new way to gather first party data on your customers whilst still respecting their privacy. CAPI is a server-side technology, sending first party data direct to Meta, unlike the Pixel which is browser-based and returns mostly third party data.

CAPI is still evolving and will take some time to adopt. For now, we are told by Meta to run both the Meta Pixel and CAPI at the same time. Due to the limitations placed around tracking pixels by Apple, all traditional pixel based audiences, such as website and purchase activity have been impacted, returning less data to Facebook’s algorithm to work with.

If you have a spare 20mins, please watch my recent video update for Meta Advertisers:

In this video, I show you ways to maximise your Meta Ads as we work towards CAPI integration. These are strategies you can do right now whilst you wait for your developer or marketing agency to implement CAPI and setup your Conversion Events.

Optimise for traffic

With limited conversion data, switch your campaign objective to website traffic (clicks) instead.

Wide interest targeting

Expand your broad interest targeting in your local area, don’t over-target, think broad groups.

1% Lookalikes

Generate lookalikes of your most active custom audiences, and don’t narrow them by age, gender and interest – except for local area.

Retarget what you can

Update your customer email lists and match all other fields you can, like postcode, mobile number and lifetime purchase value.

About the author

Fred Porter

Fred has played a key role in brand marketing and digital transformation for more than two decades.