Apple announced at the end of 2020 changes to its iOS 14 operating system (especially with the iOS 14.5 update) that will have a very significant impact on all Utah real estate companies that advertise on Facebook and Instagram.

The most affected will be those who use Facebook pixel conversion events on their site (so probably most real estate businesses!)

Apple now requires all apps available on its AppStore to send app users a request for consent to collect their data to serve them personalized ads.

We can expect that faced with this choice, many users will refuse to be tracked, especially with apps like Facebook or Instagram that do not have the best reputation for data collection and tracking.

The update will make it more difficult for advertisers and new players from real estate classes Utah.

You may witness a significant drop in the number of conversions recorded in your campaigns and a decrease in the effectiveness of your ads in general.

What is the IOS 14.5 Update?

In addition to new features like the ability to unlock your iPhone with a mask, more inclusive emojis, and improvements for Siri, Apple introduced in iOS 14.3 a new privacy information section in the AppStore called AppTrackingTransparency.

In fact, for years, Apple has assigned a unique identifier to its phones (the IDFA) which allows you to track what you do on your iPhone.

With this new AppTrackingTransparency framework, an app that wants to use this unique identifier to track what you are doing on your iPhone will have to ask your permission to do so.

Mobile applications (like Facebook and Instagram) will need to obtain their users’ consent to track them as they did until now.

How many users are we talking about?

Of the 230 million people in the US who use Facebook, about 52% access it from an iOS 14 or later device.

This change does not only affect new apps from the App Store. Since December 8, 2020, all apps that have updated have had to complete their detailed form on the AppStore by specifying all the information they collect AND ask all their existing users for permission to track them.

Impact on Facebook and Instagram

FB (and other online advertising players) fear that many iPhone users will refuse, limiting the amount of information that can be exchanged with third parties such as Facebook. It may therefore have a considerable impact on the creation and personalization of advertisements.

This change will affect real estate marketers who use the pixel, the Conversions API or other Facebook Business Tools to optimize or target events from a web domain, or to report on these events.

So if users decide not to allow FB or IG to collect their data outside of the apps, the platforms lose access to about 60 million people in the US or 26% of their US users.

The Impact on Advertisers

In short, all players including, qualified realtors, brokers, and agents from real estate classes Utah that advertise on Facebook and Instagram, will be impacted. FB is not the only company to be affected. The update also concerns Snap, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.

Less data collection and less relevant targeting will mean:

  • Reduced visibility on web conversions or in apps for iPhone users
  • Incomplete campaign results
  • Fewer conversions recorded
  • Poorer optimization of campaigns
  • Fewer tracked pre-buy signals
  • Reduction in the size of retargeting audiences

Limit of events

There is now a limit of 8 conversion events per domain name. This limit includes all standard events, custom events, or custom conversions configured in your event manager.

These eight events were automatically chosen by FB and ranked in priority at the start of 2021. You can modify this configuration and choose which eight events should be tracked (see below). But Ad sets that optimize for circumstances beyond the eight prioritized will be paused.

Finally, if a user triggers multiple events (e.g., a ViewContent, an AddToCart, and a Purchase), only the event with the highest priority level will be reported by the pixel. To configure these eight events, you must first go to your event manager, then access the aggregate event measurement tool.

You can choose the eight events you want to use on your domain name and rank them according to priority—this requires having previously verified your domain name.

Performance Measurement and Reporting

When Facebook detects that the user is on iOS 14.5, that person will be opt-out by default. For any iOS 14.5 opt-out users, only one conversion event will be tracked by Facebook (the highest in your list of 8 priority events. There will be no more reporting at 28 days post-click, 28 days post-view, and seven days post-view.

The default attribution for all new sets will be seven days post-click. Selecting an attribution window at the ad account level will be replaced with attribution settings at the ad set level. Conversions calculated by FB will be the same as those used for the optimization of a set.

We can no longer (at the time of this writing) distinguish what to expect between post-view and post-click conversions in the advertising manager reporting. RIP the attribution comparison windows in the Customize columns. FB will use statistical models to compensate for the lack of data from iOS 14.5 users. For people who have opted out of Facebook tracking on iOS 14.5, we will still have an attribution one-day post-click, but it will therefore be a model attribution.

Things get complicated: the attribution windows at seven days post-click and one-day post-view (which concern non-iOS 14.5 users and iOS 14.5 users who have given their consent) will not include iOS conversions.

Data will no longer be collected in real-time and may be delayed up to three days from iOS 14.5 users. Custom retargeting audiences will not update fully in real-time. As you adopt iOS 14.5, the size of audiences corresponding to certain behaviors on your website will logically decrease.

Possible Mitigation Measures

Check your domain name (especially if you use a pixel in several Business Managers or have a personal advertising account). It is only necessary to verify the eTLD + 1 (effective top-level domain plus one.

Decide which eight conversion events you will now use (if you are currently using more than eight events). There is no change to make to the configuration of your pixel on your site or your Conversions API. The selection will be made by the event manager.

You will be able to change your selection of conversion events in the Facebook Event Manager once Facebook implements Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework. Choose the eight most critical conversion events for your real estate business and map out the changes needed for your campaign or tracking strategy.

  • Reconfigure automatic rules that use a 28-day attribution window, or they will no longer be valid.
  • Set up the Conversion API
  • Use only 1 pixel per product catalog

Furthermore, if you have a conversion aim in mind, you’ll need to verify your website. For more information on proving your real estate website, visit this resource.

You can exclude iOS users from conversion ads if you are running them. You can learn how to create campaigns for other goals, like lead generation— an emerging area of focus for many real estate classes Utah. A webinar or ebook may be a good idea for you. This will help you with both lead generation and nurturing.