Facebook Struggles To Report 15% of iOS Web Conversions

2 min 25 sec read
September 23, 2021
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Are you running Facebook ads and feeling frustrated by their performance? Don't blame Facebook. Blame Apple. They're the reason why Facebook admitted to underreporting 15% of iOS web conversions.

Facebook recently posted a blog on navigating change and improving performance and measurement, echoing the frustration many of us may have had while monitoring ad performance.

Facebook Skews 15% of iOS Web Conversions Data as Apple logos Fall Off Illustrated Conversion Funnel
They've given us some tips to follow after Apple's iOS 14.5 update, which included privacy options. But first! Here's a quick little backstory on why all this is happening.

Apple's iOS 14.5 and their latest iOS 15 update have a privacy feature enabled for all apps, even Facebook's, to disallow tracking. Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT; not the phone company) feature has made advertisers worried since the adoption rate of Apple users choosing not to be tracked steadily climbs. Meanwhile, organic search traffic for the term "AT&T" has gone up — just kidding.

Advertisers are calling this the "Appocalypse," which is a little too much in our opinion. The stats you find on the web are mostly vanity metrics. No one is really sure if Apple's ATT option is specifically skewing your ad performance data. They don't disclose the specific apps, but only the adoption rate of Apple users choosing to have more privacy.

For example, an ongoing study by Branch, reported on Alex Bauer's Twitter account, claims that the ATT consent rates have stabilized since July (published on Twitter Sept. 22). Bauer noted that the ATT opt-in rate for Apple's privacy prompt is currently at 31.9%, so should you worry if you're running Facebook ads?

Facebook's blog provides tips on what to do if you think your sales, app downloads, or conversions of any kind may seem a little "off" to you in your Facebook Insight dashboard.

While Mark Zuckerberg works with his team and their systems of helping you reach more customers, they aren't on board with Apple's move either. Here are some tips on how to improve your ad's performance, according to the blog post.

  • Give your ad some time before you jump ahead and start (over)analyzing its performance; the ad reports could be delayed. The post said to monitor their performance at a minimum of 72 hours, keep tabs on it daily, or let the Conversion Window run its full course.

  • Facebook recommends reviewing the data at the campaign level and not the creative level. Some estimated conversions are reported and aggregated with a delay.

  • Try setting up the Conversion API. Facebook says it creates a safe connection between your marketing data during website events like making a purchase, adding products to a cart, and offline events; like real-world conversions (e.g. store-bought items) that can be attributed to Facebook.

    This requires some knowledge and a little setup time to do it right, but if your website is with WebFindYou, then it's seamless, and very easy, due to our custom integrations with Facebook — so it's simply a few clicks and done.

  • And then Facebook hit us with the classic, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again." You might as well take your money and pay for Zuckerburg's surfing lessons. Either way, your ad budget may go to waste experimenting.

    They said to try out new bidding tactics or use different ad formats and audience strategies to identify what works over time. So experiment with new creative ideas and marketing game plans, and maybe your ad performance will "improve" gradually.

Click the first link above to check out the rest of Facebook's tips for advertisers. Facebook plans to help better your ad's chances of success since Apple's privacy move has "increased limitations facing our industry."
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