Facebook acknowledged the plight of advertisers dealing with changes to its ad platform, mostly coming from Apple’s restrictions on sharing data from devices, and the company said that many brands are now getting imprecise metrics.
On Wednesday, Graham Mudd, Facebook’s VP of product marketing, issued a blog post outlining some of the challenges facing more than 10 million advertisers on its platform. In the past year, Apple has updated software on its ubiquitous iPhones, most recently this week with iOS 15, which has put a lock on data that marketers use to target ads and measure their effectiveness. Many marketers have reported lower conversion rates, a key metric that shows when an ad led to an actual sale or other action.
“Our estimate is that in aggregate we are underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 15%,” Mudd said in the blog post on Wednesday. “However, there is a broad range for individual advertisers. We believe that real world conversions, like sales and app installs, are higher than what is being reported for many advertisers.”
Facebook issued a similar notice earlier this month about a bug it found in its integration with Apple’s SKAdNetwork, which is one of the new ways that apps are able to report some stripped-down data back to marketers to fill in the picture about how ads are doing. Facebook said that it found a glitch that undercounted conversions by an average of 10%. That meant that marketers that sell products and generate app downloads were getting a fuzzy picture of how their media was doing on Facebook. In this case, the error would have made Facebook ads appear less successful than they were since it was underreporting the number of successful ad transactions.