Updates to Facebook’s AEM (June 2021)

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This week (June 14th), Facebook has started reaching out to some of its major advertisers and partners, updating that they will be relaxing some of the limitations announced earlier this year. No official update has been made to smaller advertisers yet.

These limitations, called Aggregated Event Measurement (AEM), were originally introduced as a response to Apple’s PCM (a web browser adaptation of the ATT framework). The limitations by set by Facebook mirrored the ones set by Apple, despite the latter not enforcing these in practice (tracking limitations are only enforced in apps).

This led to high volatility in campaign results for Facebook advertisers, with some reporting huge losses and others great wins. Most likely, this happened due to the decline in the number of available data points Facebook was using to optimize campaigns. With this happening, the relaxation of the AEM limitations was expected.

What’s changing

Relaxing the 72-hour pause when changing the optimization events

Currently, every Facebook advertiser is required to select and prioritize 8 conversion events that will be used for optimizing their campaigns. This is based on a similar limitation set by Apple for app campaigns.

Changing any of these events, or even just their prioritization results in a 72-hour freeze of campaigns. Additionally, the events can’t be changed again over the course of these 72 hours. This is due to the delayed reporting of conversion events, which required Facebook to pause the ad set until all the delayed events came through.

Starting June 16th, making such changes won’t pause the campaigns and will only block the option to edit the events for the next 72 hours.

Expanding conversion modeling to include 7-day click

Facebook’s AEM takes a similar approach to Apple’s in limiting the tracking for users that choose to opt out of tracking. To make up for the data lost, Facebook incorporated conversion modeling which is used for both campaign optimization and reporting. This modeling was limited to 1 day click data, thus effectively “ignoring” potential 7-day click data.

Starting June 30th, the modeled conversions will also include these attribution windows.

Removing restrictions from non-iOS campaigns

This is probably the biggest announcement, despite the brief explanation given around it.

As explained above, Facebook’s limitations on tracking where enforced across the board on PC & Android devices as well. Tracking limitations on these devices will now become much more relaxed, namely:

  1. Website Pixel events used for optimization won’t be limited to 8 events
  2. Domain verification won’t be enforced for these devices

To properly benefit from these changes, it’s recommended to break down campaigns by devices, so that the iOS traffic won’t impact the “clean” traffic from other devices.

This update will be effective starting June 16th.

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