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!

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