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Preparing our partners for iOS 14: Mobile Web Advertising

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In June 2020, Apple announced a new iOS 14 AppTrackingTransparency framework, requiring apps to show a discouraging prompt, that will have hard hitting implications for businesses that advertise on mobile devices and across the web. We disagree with Apple’s approach and solution. We understand how disruptive Apple’s changes may be to your business, and are committed to helping you manage through them.

In early 2021, Facebook will begin to show Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt. Once Facebook and Instagram show Apple’s ATT prompt, those that optimize, target, and/or report on mobile web events from any of our business tools will be impacted given Apple’s required limits on data sharing.

Today, in order to help minimize disruption, we are providing you an update with our solutions that require actions you can take immediately, and actions you need to plan for in early 2021.

EVENT MANAGEMENT

Aggregated Event Measurement: Facebook will introduce Aggregated Event Measurement to support measurement of web events from iOS 14 users once Apple requires the ATT prompt. It is designed to help you measure campaign performance in a way that is consistent with consumers’ decisions about their data.

Event Limits: You will be limited to the use of 8 conversion events per domain (i.e., 8 <pixel, event> or <custom conversion> per domain). You will not need to make changes to the pixel or your Conversions API implementation as event selection will be done in Events Manager beginning early 2021.

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  • Ad sets optimizing for an event beyond the 8 that are prioritized will be paused.
  • The 8 conversion events per domain will be ranked based on priority. If multiple events are completed by a user (i.e. “add to cart” and “purchase”) only the higher prioritized event will be reported.
  • After the initial configuration, the domain owner will be able to configure which 8 events are tracked for a given domain in Events Manager.
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Actions to take now:

Domain verification in Business Manager: We ask that you verify your domain using the steps outlined in the Facebook Help Center. This is critical for businesses with pixels used by multiple Business Managers or personal ad accounts. Domain verification will ensure no immediate or future disruption in the ability to configure conversion events.

Note: Domain Verification must be done at the effective top level domain plus one (eTLD+1 ). For example, for www.books.jasper.com, books.jasper.com and jasper.com the eTLD+1 domain is jasper.com.

Plan for 8 conversion events per domain: If you use more than 8 conversion events per domain for optimization or reporting, prepare an action plan for how to operate with 8 conversion events per domain based on your business priorities. You will not need to make changes to the pixel or Conversions API implementation as event configuration will be done in Events Manager.

DELIVERY

VALUE OPTIMIZATION (VO)

  • VO will transition from Ads Manager to Events Manager and value set will need to be enabled.
  • If you have previously used VO, value sets will be automatically assigned based on historical data and turned on in Events Manager.
  • If you are eligible and use VO infrequently or have never used it, value sets must be configured manually.
  • You will be able to have a maximum of 8 value sets. Note: turning on value sets will automatically utilize 4 out of the 8 events allowed for campaign optimization and reporting for a given domain.
  • For optimal performance, events with value sets turned on should be placed in higher priority slots within the Events Manager.

Actions to take now:

DYNAMIC ADS

There are no specific changes for Dynamic Ads for Retargeting, but you may see performance and audience sizes decrease. We expect minimal impact to you using Dynamic Ads to reach Broad Audiences.

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Actions to take now:

  • Verify product URL domains in the catalog feed and avoid the use of URLs redirecting users to a different domain.
  • Prepare to use only 1 pixel per catalog to optimize for prioritized conversion events across all catalog items.

MEASUREMENT

Ads Reporting (Ads Manager, Ads Reporting, Ads Insights API):

  • 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported. Historical data for these windows will remain accessible via the Ads Insights API.
  • Statistical modeling will be used for certain attribution windows and/or metrics to account for less data availability from iOS 14 users. In-product annotation will communicate when a metric is modeled.
  • Certain attribution windows will have partial reporting and metrics will not include all events from iOS 14 users. In-product annotation will communicate when a metric is partial. This will launch in early 2021.
  • Delivery and action breakdowns will not be supported for offsite conversion events.
  • Offsite conversion events will be reported based on the time the conversions occur and not the time of ad impressions. As a result, you may notice small fluctuations in cost metrics, as cost per conversion will reflect spend over a given period divided by conversions that took place over the same period, whereas today, cost per conversion reflects spend over a given period divided by conversions driven by ad impressions that took place over the same period.

Attribution Window Selection: We will be replacing the account-level attribution window with a new attribution setting at the ad set level that can be accessed during campaign creation. This attribution setting ensures that the conversions we measure are the same ones used to inform campaign optimization, and will allow for increased flexibility and clarity when analyzing ad performance. We will introduce a new API parameter to allow for the querying of results based on this new attribution setting.

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For automated rules: In early 2021, attribution window settings for existing and newly created automated rules will no longer be supported, and a default window of 7-day click-through for non-iOS conversions and the SKAdNetwork window for iOS conversions will be implemented.

Actions to take now

Prepare for attribution window changes (deprecation of 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through windows):

  • Adopt the Comparing Windows feature to see how conversions attributed to ads compare across different attribution windows. This allows you to better anticipate the impact to reported conversions as a result of upcoming attribution window changes.
  • Update any automated rules currently using a 28-day attribution window to prevent any unexpected adjustments in spend once the new 7-day click-through window default goes into effect.

DEVELOPER APIs (Marketing API, Ads Insights API, Targeting API)

Numerous Endpoint Changes: Our Marketing API, Ads Insights API, and Targeting API will have endpoint changes according to the changes referenced in the Event Management, Delivery, and Measurement sections of this document.

What you can do now

Take action on the changes mentioned in this blog, and review the changes coming to our APIs. These have not gone into effect and cannot be implemented at this time, however, we want to give you as much notice as possible. You can view the changelog here.

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What you should plan for early 2021:

Implement API changes: We anticipate having API updates ready for implementation by mid-January of 2021, some of which may result in same day breaking changes. Technical information regarding API changes that will be required in early 2021 will be shared in our developer documentation.

For information on iOS 14 impact to App based developers please see our separate Developer blog post here.

For information on how to plan for changes to our Marketing API, please see our changelog.

Facebook Developers

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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey

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Facebook has had its share of controversies this year. The company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents.

Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.

Yahoo Finance notes, “Facebook has had its share of controversies this year.” Starting in January, Meta-owned WhatsApp got caught up in a huge controversy after the messaging app announced a new privacy policy (Terms of Service). WhatsApp said it would collect user information and share it with third-party apps for a better user experience. However, the app gave users no choice but later made modifications to the policy under pressure. Similarly, the company was under more scrutiny after whistleblower and former Facebook employee Frances Haugen leaked a series of internal documents showing the company’s problematic practices. It was revealed that Meta-owned Instagram had a negative impact on teenage girls, but the company did almost nothing to rectify the problem.

Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.

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However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.

On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.

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Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal

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In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.

In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.

Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws

It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.

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Russian social media laws

As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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