Back to News for Developers

Preparing our Partners for iOS 14: Impacts to App Advertisers and Developers

Updated on April 26, 2021:On Tuesday, April 27, 2021 Facebook will begin rolling out new ad measurement protocols --Apple’s SKAdNetwork API and Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement -- following the release of iOS 14.5. Advertisers and partners will then begin to experience the changes described in this blog post. For the latest update visit the Facebook for Business blog.

Updated on April 21, 2021: On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Apple confirmed that the release of general availability of iOS 14.5 will begin next week, and that it will start requiring apps in the App Store to obtain permission to “track” users across apps and websites owned by third parties for advertising and measurement purposes through it’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt. Apple’s prompt requirement will also prohibit certain data collection and sharing by businesses unless people opt in. As part of these changes, we’re implementing new ad measurement protocols, including Apple’s SKAdNetwork API and Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement and the changes described in this blog post will begin rolling out with the expected general availability of iOS 14.5 next week. We will provide an update with a specific date once more details are available from Apple. For the latest update, visit the Facebook for Business blog.

Today, December 16, we’re providing an update to our earlier guidance including:

  • Developers may now update to the current version of the Facebook SDK *(v8.1 or above), which will support measurement for app install ads when Apple introduces their prompt feature requirements.
  • Updated details on ad account and campaign limitations based on Apple’s SKAdNetwork API.
  • Further guidance on our progress with MMPs and what our partners can expect in the coming weeks
  • Information on planned updates to Facebook Login through the Facebook SDK in early 2021.

The Facebook SDK

  • Update: We have enabled the latest version of the Facebook SDK (v8.1 or above) to support Apple’s SKAdNetwork API and conversion value management to enable measurement for app install ads. We recommend developers update their SDK to the latest version. We expect that it will be possible to test SKAdNetwork in early 2021.
  • Update: For developers using Facebook Login, we expect to provide an updated version of Facebook Login through the Facebook SDK for iOS in early 2021. The new version of Facebook Login will implement safeguards designed to prevent the fact that a person used Facebook to log into your iOS app from being used to target advertising or measure advertising effectiveness. Advertisers who wish to use this functionality should prepare to update their FB SDK in early 2021. Additional information will be shared soon to prepare developers for this change.

Audience Network SDK

  • All publishers will need to use Audience Network SDK 6.2.1 in order to monetize with iOS 14 users when Apple introduces their new requirements. The latest version of Audience Network SDK (6.2.1) was released on January 11, 2021. Update your Audience Network SDK here.
  • Within the latest version, there are two important requirements to highlight:
    • Implement the ‘setAdvertiserTrackingEnabled’ flag, irrespective of the use of mediation, to inform us whether to use the data to deliver personalized ads.
    • Add the suggested SKAdNetwork IDs to the Xcode project’s Info.plist in order for advertisers to measure the success of ad campaigns.
  • We are also working on various products and methods to help optimize performance such as exclusively using bidding to fill ads in iOS apps beginning Q2 2021.

App Install Ads

To support partners' readiness for Apple’s prompt requirements for early next year, the following changes can be expected for running app install campaigns for iOS 14 users. We are still waiting for clarity from Apple if additional requirements will be version-based (iOS 14.4 release onwards) or date-based (iOS 14.0 starting on a specific date).

  • Account Management
    • Update: Due to restrictions imposed by the SKAdNetwork API, there will be a limit on running campaigns for iOS 14 users. Partners will be limited to one ad account per app for app install ads to iOS 14 users.
    • We’re updating previously shared guidance to no longer require a dedicated ad account for app install ads for iOS 14. We will support the ability for advertisers to run app install campaigns for iOS 14 users from existing ad accounts. The existing ad accounts can also continue to be used for app install ads for non-iOS 14 users as well as for campaigns using any other objectives.
  • Campaign Management
    • Update: Due to restrictions imposed by the SKAdNetwork API, we will require standalone app install campaigns for iOS 14 users and there will be a limit of 9 active campaigns per app and 5 ad sets per campaign of the same optimization type. We expect to adjust these limitations in future product releases next year.
    • We will require advertisers to create standalone app install campaigns for iOS 14 users. If Apple implements date-based requirements, app install campaigns that are currently running that include OS version 14.0 will stop delivering, and will have a path to migrate to standalone iOS 14 campaigns.
  • Optimization
    • Update: We will also support the ability to run app install campaigns with event optimization for Automated App Ads.
    • Update: For app event optimization, we will support all 14 standard app events and use the SKAdnetwork API’s ConversionValue bit to get app event data to support measurement and optimization.
    • In preparation for Apple’s requirements for early next year, we will support the ability to run app install campaigns optimizing for installs (MAI) and app events (AEO). Value optimization (VO) support is expected in the weeks following Apple’s required implementation.
    • In order to run app install campaigns optimizing for installs, app events or value optimization (VO), apps must be registered to use SKAdNetwork API and have implemented the ConversionValue() bits using the Facebook SDK, a supported Mobile Measurement Partner, or manually within a specific time range (all calls to updateConversionValue happen within 24 hours of install). We will be using install and post-install event data reported from SKAdNetwork API for the purpose of measurement and optimization.
  • Measurement
    • We will support measurement for app install ads optimizing for install (MAI), app events (AEO), and value optimization (VO) for iOS 14 campaigns with some limitations. These changes are the unfortunate result of SKAdNetwork’s limited capabilities.
      • SKAdNetwork uses its own attribution window. Due to the aggregated nature of the data that is provided by the SKAdNetwork API, we will not be able to provide 1d, 7d, or 28d click-through or view-through attribution window breakdowns.
      • Due to data being aggregated at the campaign level, reporting at the ad set and ad levels will be modeled.
      • SKAdNetwork data will not support breakdowns (age, gender, region, placement, etc.) for app install or post-install event metrics.
      • Due to the delay of reports from the SKAdNetwork API, events will be reported based on the time the data is returned through the SKAdNetwork API.
  • App Events API
    • Partners who use the App Events API and do not have the Facebook SDK installed will need to support Apple’s SKAdNetwork API to be able to run app install campaigns and will need to configure their own conversion schema for AEO and VO. We will provide an experience in Events Manager early 2021 for advertisers to self-report SKAN implementation and define their conversion schema
    • Partners should use the “Advertiser Tracking Enabled” flag and pass it through the App Events API to match people using iOS 14

Supporting advertisers who work with Mobile Measurement Partners

  • Update: Facebook is committed to supporting businesses to minimize disruption caused by the Apple iOS 14 changes, and continuing to partner with our Mobile Measurement partners to support third-party measurement. As part of our efforts, we continue to work closely with MMPs to solve for limitations with the SKAdNetwork (SKAN) API conversion bits, which are shared between platforms. This collaboration has led to the formulation of a methodology with MMPs to enable advertisers to uniformly apply measurement across platforms using SKAN conversion bits. We have shared this methodology with all our MMPs so that clients can utilize the Facebook or MMP SDK for ads delivery, optimization, and measurement on Apple’s SKAN.
  • Our SKAN integration with MMPs focuses on the following advertiser benefits:
    • Ensure SKAN conversions make sense. Advertisers relying on SKAN should use SKAN conversion bits as a global variable across platforms to ensure that attribution results rely on uniform conversion bit schemas to understand measurement goals
    • Flexible measurement/conversion bit tools. Advertisers can set their measurement goals/conversion bits using either Facebook or an MMP interface
    • SDK parity. Advertisers can continue to rely on the FB or MMP SDK or both to ensure ads delivery, optimization, and measurement on FB for iOS 14
    • Consolidated 3rd party reporting. Advertisers can review SKAN attributions to FB on MMP dashboards

This is still a work in progress but we are making meaningful strides. In fact several MMPs have tested our conversion bits alignment tools and are preparing their SDKs to ensure ads delivery on FB for iOS 14 will work. We anticipate several MMPs will announce progress towards these testing goals in the near future.

It’s important to note that SKAdNetwork has meaningful differences in the speed and level of granularity with which attribution is performed relative to the MMP attribution models that many app advertisers have come to rely on. We are working within SKAdNetwork’s defined parameters to do what’s best for advertisers and we believe that means continuing to work with their respective MMPs to enable cross platform measurement.

Latest Updates to Prepare our Partners for iOS 14:

Previous Updates to Prepare our Partners for iOS 14:

Original Post on October 29, 2020

We’re committed to supporting advertisers and publishers through Apple’s requirements for iOS 14. While guidance from Apple remains limited, we are making preparations to help our partners respond to Apple’s latest updates and prepare for when Apple implements additional requirements. We recognize the need for businesses to plan in advance of these changes, and are providing updated guidance as it becomes available.

Today, we’re sharing the latest on our plans to update the Facebook and Audience Network SDKs to add support for the SKAdNetwork API. We expect to provide another update in November and as Apple provides more guidance.

The Facebook SDK

  • We will release an updated version of the Facebook SDK by early Q1 to support the upcoming iOS 14 privacy feature requirements. As previously shared in September, the new version of the Facebook SDK will provide support for Apple’s SKAdNetwork API and conversion value management.

Audience Network SDK

App Install Ads

To support partners' readiness for Apple’s privacy requirements for early next year, the following changes can be expected for running app install campaigns for iOS 14 users. We are still waiting for clarity from Apple if additional requirements will be version-based (iOS 14.1 or iOS 14.2 release onwards) or date-based (iOS 14.0 starting on a specific date).

  • Account Management
    • We’re updating previously shared guidance to no longer require a dedicated ad account for app install ads for iOS 14. We will support the ability for advertisers to run app install campaigns for iOS 14 users from existing ad accounts. The existing ad accounts can also continue to be used for app install ads for non-iOS 14 users as well as for campaigns using any other objectives.
    • Due to restrictions imposed by the SKAdNetwork API, there will be a limit on how many separate ad accounts can be used to run campaigns for iOS 14 users and we expect to provide additional details in November.
  • Campaign Management
    • We will require advertisers to create standalone app install campaigns for iOS 14 users. If Apple implements date-based requirements, app install campaigns that are currently running that include OS version 14.0 will stop delivering, and will have a path to migrate to standalone iOS 14 campaigns.
    • Due to restrictions imposed by the SKAdNetwork API, there will be limits on the number of iOS 14 campaigns and ad sets that can be active at any given time and we expect to provide additional details in November.
  • Optimization
    • In preparation for Apple’s requirements for early next year, we will support the ability to run app install campaigns optimizing for installs (MAI) and app events (AEO). Value optimization (VO) support is expected in the weeks following Apple’s required implementation.
    • In order to run app install campaigns optimizing for installs, app events or value optimization (VO), apps must be registered to use SKAdNetwork API and have implemented the ConversionValue() bits using the Facebook SDK, a supported Mobile Measurement Partner, or manually within a specific time range (all calls to updateConversionValue happen within 24 hours of install). We will be using install and post-install event data reported from SKAdNetwork API for the purpose of measurement and optimization.
  • Measurement
    • We will support measurement for app install ads optimizing for install (MAI), app events (AEO), and value optimization (VO) for iOS 14 campaigns with some limitations. These changes are the unfortunate result of SKAdNetwork’s limited capabilities.
      • SKAdNetwork uses its own attribution window. Due to the aggregated nature of the data that is provided by the SKAdNetwork API, we will not be able to provide 1d, 7d, or 28d click-through or view-through attribution window breakdowns.
      • Due to data being aggregated at the campaign level, reporting at the ad set and ad levels will be modeled.
      • SKAdNetwork data will not support breakdowns (age, gender, region, placement, etc.) for app install or post-install event metrics.
      • Due to the delay of reports from the SKAdNetwork API, events will be reported based on the time the data is returned through the SKAN API.
  • App Events API
    • Partners who use the App Events API today will be able to continue to use the App Events API. However, support for Apple's SKAdNetwork will require changes within your app. We will be providing additional implementation details in a future update.
  • Supporting advertisers who work with Mobile Measurement Partners
    • We are partnering with Mobile Measurement Partners (MMPs) to support interoperability of SKAdNetwork through either Facebook or MMP SDKs. This work is ongoing and requires further testing. We will provide an update as the solution is finalized.

We recognize that further details are required to plan for additional requirements created by iOS 14. Like the rest of the industry, we continue to prepare for Apple’s changes and will provide additional updates as Apple provides more guidance, with our next update expected in November.

Previous Updates to Prepare our Partners for iOS 14: