What’s happening and why?

Apple wants all apps in its App Store to be safe and trusted. Apple wants to focus on providing high standards regarding privacy and security, so that its users can ‘trust’ the apps they download and use on their Apple devices.

With the iOS 14 update, Facebook will need to ask permission to track its app users across external websites and apps. Facebook needs this tracking to allow their advertisers to use this data to run relevant, personalised ads to its users.

Campaigns that deliver desired outcomes are key for advertisers and results influence the use of specific advertising platforms. As you can imagine, this is a big issue for Facebook.

How Apple’s iOS 14 update may limit your marketing efforts.
Screenshot source: Facebook Ads Manager

The new iOS 14 update will impact your Facebook Ads

Expect to see a negative impact on campaigns starting early 2021. The iOS 14 update will limit tracking and conversion event data. A big part of the current Facebook Advertising Machine Learning techniques rely on Pixel data and conversion that are built on those events. To adapt, Facebook will start processing pixel conversion events from iOS devices using ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’.

Is it really that bad?

Remember that this is an iOS update, meaning it will impact data coming from users using Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads. Expect to see that users will choose not to track them if they are offered the choice.

Starting early 2021 Facebook will promt the question to ask for tracking permissions.
Users will see the following 2 choices:

  1. Allow Tracking
  2. Ask App not to Track

As you can imagine, most people will probably choose ‘Not to Track’.

Screenshot source: developer.apple.com

Events will be limited to 8 events per domain

When a user allows tracking features (and this will be the minority), you are only allowed to send a max of 8 (conversion) events per domain. This will impact campaigns that optimize for events beyond those 8 events. These campaigns will be paused and will stop delivering.

Facebook will initially configure the conversion events that are most relevant for most businesses, but advertisers will be able to manage their preferences in Events Manager to adapt these defaults to their business.

These changes will impact:

  • Targeting features
  • Tracking features
  • Optimization features

And will limit advertisers to:

  • Deliver ads to the most relevant audiences
  • Deliver ads to people based on engagement events
  • Measure and report certain conversion events
  • Optimize costs over time and efficiently allocate campaign budgets

How to prepare for the worst?

There are some things you will need to do and other things you will need to start thinking about.

Actions to take right now

If you are using conversion events related to the Facebook Pixel or Conversions API, be sure to verify your domain in Business Manager. You will only be allowed to send 8 events per domain and the verification will enable you to configure these events when the Aggregated Event Measurement becomes available.

Also prepare for Attribution Window Changes and start using the 7-day-click as your default. The 28-day-click/view and 7-day-view-through attribution windows will be depreciated.

The following windows still remain:

  • 1-day click
  • 7-day click (this will be the new default)
  • 1-day click and 1-day view
  • 7-day click and 1-day view

Things to start thinking about

As you will only be allowed to send 8 conversion events per domain, start thinking about prioritizing these 8 events. Think about the most important events your business needs to still be able to run succesfull campaigns.


Don’t panic (yet), but start thinking about a new approach for running succesfull campaigns on the Facebook platform in 2021. This privacy limitations will only get more strict over the longer term, so marketers will have to adapt. It will definitely be more challenging to make informed decisions about your advertising budgets going forward.

It is still unclear how this will also impact data coming from users who use dekstop devices or other mobile devices such as Android. Time will tell…

For now, start rethinking your strategies and processes!

Let’s discuss

I’m answering more questions about this big update and its impact on Facebook Ads on my LinkedIn profile.

Be sure to follow my updates and stay in the loop!

About the Author


Bram Van der Hallen is an all-round Belgian Digital Marketer and Facebook Certified Professional with 13+ years experience in media planning and buying. Bram talks about Facebook Ads on LinkedIn. Click here to connect with Bram.

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