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Did the iOS 14 update kill Facebook ads? Can we work around it?

To protect the privacy of Apple users, the iOS 14 update prevents the Facebook pixel from tracking user activity on your website after they click on your ad and enter your website. This is only relevant for Apple users, unless they opt in to be tracked.

What remains unchanged?

Any activity on the Facebook ads themselves can still be tracked by Facebook. That includes impressions, clicks, and views for videos. All activity from non-Apple users will also still be tracked as usual.

What has changed? How will it affect ad performance?

Once the Apple users click into your site, this is where Facebook is unable to track further. You will be unable to see when Apple users trigger a conversion event, such as a checkout or a purchase on your website.

If you set your Facebook ads to maximize for 'conversions', and you set conversions to be any events on your website, the Facebook algorithm will not be able to detect when Apple users convert and optimize for this audience. Therefore, the efficacy of your 'conversion' ads would be greatly reduced. Unfortunately, there is currently no fix for this reduced efficacy.

How can we work around this?

Facebook cannot track any activities from Apple users on your website, BUT you can still track this activity in Google Analytics. Make sure you've set your UTM parameters correctly in the links of your Facebook ads. Also, make sure that you set your conversion goals in Google Analytics. This includes, for example, checkouts or purchases or downloads.

There are many different ways to see the performance of your ads in Google Analytics, but for the purpose of this article, here is how to see the number of conversions from Facebook ads compared to other sources. Simply navigate to Conversions > Goals > Overview, and select your conversion goal. Then click on Source/Medium, and you should see the number of conversions that you've got from users from Facebook ads. Here, you can see that we've gotten 207 conversions from Facebook ads (facebook/cpc) during our selected time range.

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