While the media made much ado about Apple’s colorful new iMacs and other product launches this week, Facebook quietly announced a series of changes that are far more meaningful for marketing leaders. Facebook sent an email to a limited number of ad partners highlighting a number of changes on the horizon.

 

Let’s dive into them (and what they mean for you) here:

 

With iOS 14.5 shipping this week, Facebook’s default setting for users will be “opted out,” meaning that users will have to manually choose to opt-in for tracking to work as it has in yesteryear.

 

iOS 14.5 facebook update

 

There are a few ways that this is going to directly impact your Facebook and Instagram ads sooner than later:

 

– CPA rates are going up, and audience sizes are going down.

 

– Attribution changes galore: delayed attribution will disappear, and one-day click attribution shifts from actual to modeled.

 

– Likely within the next two weeks, ad sets will be paused if they’re optimizing for a now-outdated web event.

 

– We won’t be shooting blind, but as more and more users gradually upgrade to iOS 14.5, media buyers will have less and less clarity into the effectiveness of certain campaigns.

 

This is going to be one of those months where it would have been a really, really good idea to listen to our advice regarding building owned channels over the past year. In the meantime, marketing leaders will need to adjust and pay close attention to their own website’s attribution metrics to sort out the effectiveness of their social ad campaigns (as they should have been doing, anyway).

 

Now for some silver lining:

 

Facebook’s amplifying its audio efforts. Live audio (oh hey, Clubhouse), podcasts, and a creator fund are all on the way. Side note: if any of you happen to personally know Zuck, let him know the Lion’s Share Marketing Podcast is open to negotiating exclusivity! This is significant. Facebook’s not going to go to all that trouble without bringing ad placements into the fold, too. That means marketing leaders will need to invest in new forms of audio-only creative (remember when radio was a thing?) with calls to action suited for digital placement.

 

Facebook has also noted that it’s developing new ad tracking and data tools that will comply with Apple’s privacy demands. Personally, I’d be surprised if at least the first version of Facebook’s long-term solution isn’t rushed to market by summer. As media buyers everywhere load up on Tylenol and whiskey, we can’t wait.