Changes in Facebook Ads throughout 2021

As a tradition, we’re sharing our annual blog update on the leading changes for the past year on Facebook (or Meta as it’s known now). In the advertising and social media field, changes are constant and dynamic, so to use the platforms to their full potential, we need to be up to date with their latest feature updates.

In today’s article, we have selected and summarized the significant updates and changes in 2021 that are important to keep in mind when working on the Facebook platform.

How Apple’s iOS 14 release may affect your ads

  • Changes in conversion reporting

Measuring the web and app events from people using iOS 14 or further devices is allowed only with Facebook’s new Aggregated Event Measurement protocol.

  • Limit to the use of 8 conversion events per domain

Before optimizing your campaigns for a specific action with Aggregated Event Measurement, you need to verify your domain. You also have the option to configure up to 8 events in Events Manager that your campaigns can optimize for.

  • Changes in user data reports for targeting

For both app and web conversions, the delivery and action breakdowns, such as age, gender, geographic region and ad placement are not currently supported.

  • New Attribution Window

28-day click-through, 28-day view-through and 7-day view-through attribution windows are not supported for active campaigns. Except for iOS 14+ app promotion campaigns and automated rules, the 7-day click attribution window can be modified by you to one of the other windows that are still supported. The following windows are supported under the new attribution setting:

– 1-day click or view

– 7-day click or view 

– 1-day click

– 7-day click (default)

The extent to which this change may affect reporting varies from business to business and by product segment. If most conversions happen within the 7-day attribution period, the change in reporting should not be that significant (especially if you use broad targeting for cheaper and/or free products that lead to quicker conversions ). The most robust difference can be observed in businesses offering products in a higher price range or customer paths taking longer to fulfill. In such a case, the final purchase will likely fall outside the 7-day attribution period.

Increasing the cost per click (CPC)
Increase in cost per click was an expected result given the number of businesses that turned to the e-commerce business model and the change in consumer behaviour due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The main reasons are several:

  • Facebook inventory is limited.

More retailers have shifted their focus to e-commerce business model, leading to more competition on the Google platform.

  • CPM increase

The number of advertisers and ad competition in the inventory of Facebook is increasing. At the same time, search interest remains constant, which leads to an increase in CPM (cost per impression) for your ads. CPM later determines your ad CPC (cost per click). In this case, you don’t necessarily need to invest higher budgets in the platform. What you need is a digital marketing strategy adapted to your business goals.

  • Ad quality matters

Ads with a more generic message and creative may often lead to ad fatigue. Facebook may also restrict your ability to advertise on its platform if its algorithm detects your ad is not delivering a diversified and engaging user experience.

Optimize delivery for Conversion leads in your Lead generation campaigns

You can now choose to optimize to increase the quality of your leads. Facebook will show your ad only to people in your target audience who are most likely to become customers. 

Facebook changes Conversion leads Accella Digital Blog

New “Optimize Text Per Person” Option

When activated, this new feature will choose whether to highlight the primary caption, the headline or the description text to each user, based on what Facebook’s system determines this user will best respond to. This new feature is similar to how Responsive Search Ads function in the Google Ads inventory.

With this enabled, any business (whether small or medium) can now deliver a more personalized advertising experience to each user. You only need to select the “Optimize text per person” option at an ad level, and the algorithm will do the optimization for you.

Facebook changes Customized Text Accella Digital Blog

Ads optimized for calls
Facebook offers the ability to optimize your ads for calls, resulting in better ad performance and lower cost per call. Creating ads optimized for calls is available in two types of campaigns – Traffic and Lead generation. In the Traffic campaign, you must navigate to the ad level, select Phone Call, and then enter the country and phone number.

Facebook changes Call ads Accella Digital Blog
For a Lead generation campaign, you can find the settings at the ad set level, where you need to select “Calls”.

Facebook changes Call ads Accella Digital Blog

Facebook Targeting Expansion becomes default

Facebook is making a change to target users more broadly. This is a big change that could lead to more results but may also upset advertisers wanting to limit targeting to a smaller group. 

Targeting Expansion will be turned on automatically when optimizing for conversions, value or app events while using the Conversions objective. When Targeting Expansion is turned on automatically in these cases, advertisers will not be able to turn it off.

Facebook changes Targeting expansion Accella Digital Blog

If you optimize for actions other than conversions, value, or app events, Тargeting Еxpansion will be turned off by default. Still, it can be turned on later (other than in the situations described earlier).

Targeting Expansion is available for all objectives besides for Reach and Brand Awareness campaigns. Also, it cannot be used when promoting a Special Ad Category.

With Targeting Expansion, Facebook is directing potential advertisers to use the broad targeting option more. It is a great feature that has the potential to drive better results, but it can limit advertisers who would like to narrow the targeting in their strategy.

Facebook changes the way it counts user profiles for advertising purposes 

Facebook is changing the way it counts user profiles for advertising purposes. Users who do not explicitly link their Facebook and Instagram accounts in the Facebook Account Center will now be treated as two separate people for the purposes of ad planning and management.

As a result, a slight increase could be noticed in the Estimated Audience Size and reach across the two platforms (Facebook and Instagram) as it counts some users twice.

Potential Reach Changes to Estimated Audience Size at an Ad Set

Facebook has also changed how it displays audience reach estimates at an ad set level. Previously we saw an approximate range of 100,000 people within our ad targeting. Now we may have an approximate range of 100,000-200,000.
This update has no direct impact on ad serving. The only thing that changes is the way audience size is visualized.

Advertisers on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram will no longer be able to target teens based on their interest

As of August 23, 2021, detailed targeting, custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and saved audiences can no longer target users under the age of 18 globally, 20 in Thailand and 21 in Indonesia. It is important to note that these changes also affect Reach and Frequency campaigns, as the audience size decreases.

If you need assistance, our agency specializes in managing results-oriented digital marketing campaigns. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for a chat or an online meeting.