iOS 14.5 Update and Facebook Pixel

Doctor Digital, how does the iOS update impact my Facebook pixel tracking?

Doctor Digital Says


As foreshadowed Apple have come good on their promise to give the people back the power to say who gets to see their online antics. The people have responded, with over 96% opting out of tracking. Ouch. If you use Facebook's pixel to track audiences and create lookalikes, you will need to make some changes to your business manager account. But let's go back a minute and get you up to speed if you've just got across this change. What is the iOS update I hear you ask. Apple's iOS 14.5 update has an opt in function asking if you want your movements tracked. This impacts the pixel and how you can track your customers. Clearly as it is an Apple update it is only going to affect Apple using customers, but that may be a significant amount of your market. Facebook has born the brunt of the impact, they haven't been happy about it, but what to do when one gorilla fights another gorilla aside from change market dominance regulation, but that's a matter for some other political gorillas to fight.

SO, what do you need to do in Facebook (FB) to get up to date with the changes? FB has created a kind of workaround where you can have eight what they are calling 'conversion events' tracked. A conversion event is anything that happens on your website, like a sale, or a product view, so you can use these so see where the action is happening on your site coming from Facebook traffic but first you have to verify your domain with Facebook so they can confirm you own it and who can add these events.

The best place to manage everything on FB is in the Business Manager tab where all of your FB, Instagram ads and pixel info is. You can verify your website here in the Brand Safety tab. There are three different ways you can verify your website, through DNS authentication, through HTML file upload, or using the meta tag verification. FB walks you through the process, but if you are low tech or have had your website built by someone else you may need help from your web designer to do some of these. One of our digital coaches can also assist you.

After your domain is verified, your existing pixel needs to be tested to make sure it's still working. Now it's time to set up your pixel events using the FB guided tool then run through the testing process. You can only choose eight different events that are important to your business, so choose the ones that are priorities for you. Once you have selected your eight, follow the prompts to test them. For more info and details on the impacts of the update, check out our iOS update video here.

As the iOS update only affects iPhones, it makes sense to get some data on exactly what devices your customers are using, perhaps you have a greater capacity to target Android products and users than you realise. You can dig into this hypothesis and set up an android user target ad set. To do this go to Ad sets, placements, click the 'see more' button and you can select the devices and operating systems you want to target. This will allow you to test if you have a significant market that is using these devices and you can target them with your ads and pixels.

So what else can you do to combat the diminishing visibility issue with Facebook pixels and iOS? There are lots of ways to diversify your mix of marketing channels including building, fostering and segmenting a quality email list, using the events feature on Facebook to target warm leads and building and interacting with communities and groups on Facebook which is still a big area of growth for business. Remember to keep testing and tweaking your communications to measure your reach and impact across all of your channels. The key questions is where are your people hanging out online, and meet them where they are at.

Make sure that you have google analytics connected to your website and you are using its insights to understand where people are finding you from and where they are buying from. Mostly, make sure that you have a diverse mix of communications channels to mitigate risk across your business. Revisit your marketing and communications strategy and talk to your customers to really understand their needs and as always take advantage of the array of tools and information the Digital Ready program offers to help you and your business grow sustainably and thrive.


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