Is Facebook Retargeting Dead After The iOS 14.5 Update?

Published by Pedro Campos on

retargeting facebook ios 14

A lot has been said about Facebook retargeting after the iOS 14 update in April 2021.

Some people say it´s the end of the world while others are still trying to cope with it. However, there is a third group of people who are actually profiting from this change.

Yes, you read it correctly … profiting!

In this post, you´ll discover what you need to do to minimize the impact of this and future updates, and also how you can actually profit from it as well, moving forward.

Is Facebook retargeting dead or still breathing?

Let´s find out.

How The iOS 14.5 Impacts Facebook Retargeting

According to Flurry, only 12% of global users have chosen to be tracked on their apps. Crazy, isn´t it?

When you consider this, you´ll begin to understand how the updates can seriously impact your business if you don´t take the right measures.

Let´s say your remarketing audiences have 100,000 people in it, who have interacted with your business at every stage of the buyer journey.

If 80% of them opted out from in-app tracking, that means all of a sudden your audiences will be shrunk to 20,000 people instead.
In other words, the update has cost you 80,000 potential customers and repeat customers.

How much would that be in lost revenue?

The iOS 14 update was launched on April 26, 2021. With new apps and updates coming out, you can expect to have even fewer people in your remarketing lists.

4 Actions To Minimize Impact Of iOS 14 Updates

If you haven´t already done so, there are a couple of things you can do to minimize the impact of this and future updates.

These will be mainly around giving Facebook as many chances to collect additional data as possible so that it can help identify a percentage of users who have decided to opt-out.

Although there are no guarantees of 100% clean tracking, at least you´re swinging the bat with these 4 actions.

1. Turn Advanced Matching On

Advanced matching allows you to pass additional data to Facebook about your users, such as first name, last name, or email address.

What this will do is get the pixel to search for additional information from your website and other recognizable sources, along with the event or action that took place.

Facebook will then hash that information in the visitor´s browser. That means personal data will be turned into numbers to protect user´s privacy and aggregated into a list. Facebook also hashes profiles and stores them in the second list of numbers.

These two lists are compared and if there´s a match, you can target those users, although we don´t know specifically who those people are.

Events Manager >> Settings >> Advanced Matching

2. Verify Your Domain

Domain verification gives you the ability to configure and prioritize the 8 conversion events for a given domain. You can start this verification process on your Facebook Business manager.

Remember that you can´t verify subdomains. Domain verification must be done at the root domain level. If you´re unsure how to do it, I´d recommend contacting your webmaster.

Business Settings >> Brand Safety >> Domains >> Add

3. Prioritize Events

At the time of this writing, you can only have 8 events per domain.

When you prioritize events, you´re telling Facebook which ones are most important for your business. They´ll be automatically classified from most important to least important.

This requires some thinking, as every business is different and you need to know what events have the most impact on your business.

It´s important to get this right because if a user opts out from iOS tracking, only the event with the highest priority will be collect by Facebook.

In our case, it´s Lead. In yours, it might be Start Trial, Purchase or Contact.

Events Manager >> Aggregated Event Measurement >> Configure Web Events >> Manage Events

4. Install Facebook Conversion API

The API allows you to send conversion events through a server instead of a browser, therefore bypassing the pixel. You can then directly connect the data from the server to your Business Manager.

This can get a bit confusing, so if you´re not using applications such as WordPress or Shopify, you might need to have someone more technical to help you set this up.
It´s also possible through Zapier integrations.

Refer to the Facebook API knowledge center to learn more about this and how to configure it.

Events Manager >> Settings >> Conversions API >> Get Started

The Future Of Retargeting After iOS 14 Updates

Retargeting on Facebook isn´t dead, despite what you´ve been hearing and seeing around the internet. In fact, I believe it´s an opportunity to look for other and better ways to build highly targeted pixel lists.

Sure, there are things that will change:

  • Fewer ways to retarget people around the internet
  • Give Facebook more flexibility with larger audiences
  • More reliance on third-party tools
  • Opportunity to focus more on cold traffic and bring new blood to your business

But like with any change, there are a few select groups of people that profit from it.
Those people use Pixel Me. This tool allows you to still track visitors regardless of whether they decided to opt-in for app tracking or not.

Isn´t that amazing?

pixel me retargeting facebook ios 14

When someone clicks on your ad, Facebook will generate a click id like this:
?fbclid=IwAR1O1VYC-TOb9XTxkZnXSSZnTlIVpuL36myx5tBMUPa-KWqL0g-8Nf9PkP8

When we insert a pixel in the URL through a shortener like Pixel Me, Facebook will recognize the code and it will be able to collect data.

With Pixel Me, you can create URL shorteners that redirect to your landing page, YouTube video, or Amazon product page. Then, it will automatically deploy a pixel which will allow you to retarget those users who have clicked on your link.

It´s kind of like Bitly links but with retargeting pixels in the URLs.

Facebook Retargeting Has Changed

But it´s not the end of the world.

Things have changed and old ways to retarget people will fail us, moving forward. New ways are emerging and that´s exciting.

Fortunately, you and I don´t need to be tech geeks to still retarget our website users on Facebook and other platforms. Like with any change, we have to adapt and there are tools to help us grow our business despite any updates.

We´d love to hear from you…

What are you doing to still profit after iOS updates?


Pedro Campos

Pedro is the founder of Advertongue, a performance based digital advertising agency. He´s also a customer acquisition strategist for companies and experts all over the world.

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