Facebook Updates

Facebook is the wild, wild, west, y’all. There have been so many updates recently, it’s definitely kept us on our toes. They decreased the default attribution window from 28 days to 7 — in addition, they have implemented ad limits for each page and have eliminated the text in image ad rule!

Whether or not you agree with or are excited about these changes, they’re coming fast — and you should be prepared to pivot your strategies and react! We’re breaking down the updates for you here.

Update #1: Facebook Enacting Ad Limits

The Breakdown

Starting in February 2021 — which is a lot closer than you might think — Facebook is going to roll out ad limits that can be run by each page. It’s important to note that these numbers count towards ads and boosted posts.

They’ve created four different tiers to indicate how many ads a page can run simultaneously. The lowest tier encompasses pages that advertised under $100,000 in their highest spending month in the past 12 months. Pages that fall under this tier can only run 250 ads at one time. From there, the tiers increase — the largest being pages that advertised over $10 million in a month in the past year. Those pages can run 20,000 ads at once.

Why Facebook Is Doing This

Facebook is trying to cut down on the amount of ads running in an account, as this can lead to poor performance. As Facebook states on their business page, running too many ads can decrease performance because the platform can’t optimize as effectively. Running fewer ads allows Facebook’s ad delivery system to find the best places and people to show the ad to, without your ads competing against one another and resulting in lower results.

Bottom line: Bost brands won’t be affected by this change, but it will force brands to become more cognizant of what ads they are running to make sure the algorithm isn’t swamped with creative choices.

What It Means for You

Realistically, this is only going to affect a small fraction of advertisers. The majority of brands will fall into this smallest tier, meaning they will be able to run 250 ads at a time, which won’t be an issue for most.

Bottom line: If you’ve never run more than 250 ads at any given time, you likely won’t be affected by this change.

What to Do Next

Facebook has offered a few key action items to tackle before February 2021 arrives. You can read their top four tips at the bottom of this page..

Even if you won’t be drastically affected by this new update, the tips that Facebook lays out are still good for everyone to keep in mind! Take this opportunity to make sure you’re following these best practices.

Update #2: Facebook Removes Text in Image Ad Rule

The Breakdown

Facebook also recently announced that they are removing their rule that limits text in ad images. Previously, if your ad image had too much text, Facebook would limit its delivery because they thought the ad was too ‘spammy’.

This, of course, frustrated many advertisers, as the guidelines determining whether your ad was okay or not seemed arbitrary and all over the place. And, as ads have evolved, large amounts of text have been used in very effective, sophisticated ways.

Why Facebook is Doing This

It’s not immediately clear why Facebook is doing this, but it certainly comes at the relief of many advertisers. Perhaps that’s one reason — to appease advertisers.

This change also opens the door to more diverse ads, which could encourage advertisers to invest more money to A/B test different types of creative.

What to Do Next

TEST! Start by outlining a test and learn plan, and perform a series of A/B tests to see how text-over-image ads perform for your brand with various audiences. Just because this rule is no longer in effect doesn’t mean that it will provide immediate returns. We recommend running at least a few tests on this variable alone to see whether or not your audience engages with text-heavy images.

Why All These Updates?

You may find yourself wondering — why is Facebook making so many updates to their ad platform at once? These three changes that occurred in the past few weeks have really shifted the conversation around advertising on the platform.

At least some of these updates — namely the 28-day attribution window and the ad limits — seem to be encouraging more accurate and sustainable reporting. While seasoned advertisers might already abide by a 7-day attribution window and expertly limit their ads, others might not. In the long run, these changes will help advertisers get a better sense of how their ads are actually performing.

Facebook Removing 28-Day Attribution Window: What to Do Next

October 13, 2020 UPDATE — Facebook has pushed this test back until 2021. This post has been updated accordingly.

Facebook announced that they are making changes to the attribution window for ads on their site. Starting sometime in 2021, the 28-day attribution window will be eliminated, and all ads will automatically default to a 7-day window. Citing privacy updates that will be coming down the pipeline, Facebook is attempting to get ahead of things and be proactive.

We’re breaking down Facebook’s latest announcement, and giving you a few actionable tips you can do now to prepare your business for this latest change.

The Breakdown

Facebook claims that “this change has no impact on delivery or performance of your ads,” but many advertisers are hesitant to believe that. In fact, Facebook even caveats that statement:

“While you may see fewer reported conversions with a 7-day window compared to a 28-day window, this is a more sustainable measurement strategy that will support digital privacy, be resilient to future browser changes and enable businesses to better measure the impact of their marketing investments on Facebook.”

So while performance won’t be directly affected, you will obviously see fewer conversions because the window is much shorter. This could potentially affect revenue, returns, etc.

As Facebook notes, this is a more “sustainable” option in the long run. So while you might be hesitant to make the change, you will get more accurate results from these social ads, ensuring that you understand where your customers are purchasing from.

What to Do Next

Download All Your Data

Previous 28-day attributions will no longer be available when this test goes into effect. Download all your necessary data before then to ensure you have it for future reference. By downloading, you will be able to see what you typically achieve within that 7-day window so you’ll have a better idea of where your business will be at.

Prep your boss or clients

While Facebook claims this won’t affect ad performance, this change will likely affect your revenue stream. The last thing you want is for your clients or boss to just see a drop in revenue and wonder what happened — so send out a quick email linking to some relevant articles (like this one!) to prepare anyone who you want to keep in the loop.

Update October 6, 2020 — Facebook sent out this statement to advertisers:

Upcoming digital privacy initiatives affecting multiple browsers are expected to limit businesses’ ability to measure people’s interactions across domains and devices. This will also affect the ability for businesses to attribute conversion events back to an ad over longer attribution windows.

In preparation for these changes, beginning October 12, 2020, we will be testing the default click-through attribution window for select ad accounts to 7 days. With this test, we are also removing the current default 28-day click-through attribution window option. Impacted ad accounts will be notified via Ads Manager starting October 5, 2020.

Currently, we are only rolling out this test to a small number of advertisers . We’ve not yet determined if and when we’ll roll this test out more broadly, but will provide more updates when available.

Set a 7-day attribution window

Both we and Facebook recommend setting that 7-day attribution window now instead of waiting.  We typically recommend a 7-day click, 1-day view attribution window for our clients, even before Facebook made this announcement.

Need help navigating all of Facebook’s updates? Let the advertising team at Blue Wheel help you out — reach out to us today!

2020 California Privacy Laws: What Does It Mean for Brands?

Note: We are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice.

The new privacy laws in California, formally known as the California Consumer Privacy Act, went into effect on January 1, 2020 — but now, it’s finally started to impact brands.

What does this new law mean for brands and agencies who manage Facebook and Instagram advertising?

What is the New California Privacy Law (CCPA)?

At the beginning of 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) went into effect.

On July 1, Facebook implemented Limited Data Use (LDU), which allowed people in California to opt out of having their data collected by businesses. What this means is that starting in July, Facebook started to limit data from users in California (conversions for example) as advertisers had until August 1st to switch to this LDU model by adding in additional code to the Facebook pixel that would allow CA users to opt out of having their data collected.

This was most recently pushed to having this done by October 20, 2020 — but many people are confused, citing that there has been very little communication around the updates that need to be made. On August 1, we started to see California data start to trickle in our campaigns, which is counter-intuitive to what Facebook said.

This new law is different than the European GDPR, which states that individuals have to opt in to advertising and marketing. CCPA simply allows users from California to opt out of their data being sold or shared.

What are Some Advertising Challenges CCPA Brings? 

Facebook Integrations

One of the challenges that CCPA brings to advertisers and businesses is native Facebook integrations via an app, like Shopify or Magento. Because of these third-party integrations, no one is able to alter the code to meet the requirements CCPA requires. It’s challenging to change the code in these third-party platforms, and would require larger integration from Shopify or Magento.

Revenue

For many of the ecommerce brands we work with, the state of California is one of the top 5 revenue drivers in terms of states. If we’re unable to effectively market to them, brands could suffer. Not being able to retarget a site visitor from California obviously impacts revenue, especially since California is such a populous state.

The predictions are that more states will follow the example of California, and these new advertising strategies will become more than just the exception to the rule. As your brand or agency prepares for a potential drop in revenue, it’s important to keep in mind that the strategies you enact now should be in good practice so it’s easy to migrate them if other states follow suit.

Ad Campaigns

On the practical side of this new law, everyone will have to separate out California into its own campaigns for both prospecting and retargeting. Because consumers now have the option to opt out of sharing their data, it will be easier to have residents of California as its own ad campaign.

In addition, because California will now have less data, we will have to set new KPIs for this state. It’s hard to tell what the returns and data will look like — how much brands will be impacted — but it’s safe to say that both prospecting and retargeting campaigns will likely suffer.