Facebook AMM: How the new measurement changes will impact mobile marketers

By Gadi Eliashiv August 12, 2021

By now you’ve probably heard the news: there are some changes coming to the measurement that Facebook has historically provided for mobile app install campaigns. Facebook is deprecating Advanced Mobile Measurement (AMM), meaning that advertisers will only be offered aggregate install measurement from Facebook, not granular data.

It’s happening, and will impact sophisticated, large publishers. It also opens the door to further ecosystem innovation that Singular has been working on for years.

I wanted to take a moment to share what’s happening, my perspective on it, who this impacts, and how we will continue to be your partner in growth.


What is changing: granular measurement access

As we’ve seen very clearly, 2021 is the year of increased privacy on mobile. The most recent big event here was the launch of iOS 14.5 and the ongoing transition to SKAdNetwork as the primary source of attribution truth for paid iOS app marketing.

Now Facebook is making a change as well: removing device-level data from advertiser view.

In other words, somewhat similarly to view-through install attributions in April 2020, Facebook install measurement information will only be available in aggregated reporting. That means no IDFA on iOS or partial user-level visibility on Android. It means more end-user privacy, of course. And it also means changes for how some mobile marketers run user acquisition and their internal measurement, BI, analytics and machine learning.

Importantly, the data MMPs like Singular receive from Facebook will remain unchanged. We’ll continue to be able provide data on conversions at an aggregated level. (See below for more).

Facebook is planning to make the AMM change at the end of October 2021. It’s possible that Facebook could make other sources of data available to soften the impact. That is, however, yet to be determined.


AMM deprecation: who this impacts

You’re probably wondering what the impact is and what to do about it. Here are a few thoughts.

1. Facebook campaigns won’t be impacted
The first and most important point: your Facebook campaigns will not be impacted. This won’t harm performance for Facebook campaigns. This may sound trivial but it’s important to highlight: everyone is concerned with user acquisition budgets, uncertainties, and performance.

2. This is primarily an Android platform change
Post iOS 14.5, device-level data is essentially over for mobile marketers on iPhone and iPad. While it’s true that some double opt-in users who say yes to Apple’s Attribution Tracking Transparency (ATT) pop up in both Facebook and your app could result in IDFA visibility, the reality is that this is a small percentage of activity. While few have done so, this change will impact the use of methods leveraging users that have opted in as a sample size for the entire population of their new app installers. And those will now only be possible via your MMP.

So this is primarily about GAID access.

And it’s a big deal because Facebook is clearly one of the two most important companies on the planet for mobile user acquisition campaigns. iOS device-level data is gone, and this change takes a significant bite out of the data mobile marketers thought they still had on Android.

3. This is not really an ecosystem change in the same way iOS 14.5 was
iOS 14.5 demanded changes from ad networks, SANs, measurement partners, mobile marketers themselves, and more. There’s almost no part of the mobile marketing environment that wasn’t impacted in some way, and specific ones — like retargeting and granular reporting — were almost terminated. But with this new change, ad networks are not impacted, Facebook itself has very minimal change to deal with, and MMPs don’t have a heavy lift — at least initially — to support the change.

4. This change doesn’t hit everyone equally
If, for instance, you mainly rely on your MMP for reporting and you use data from the Singular dashboard or ingest aggregated data to your internal BI stack, there’s essentially no change. All the insights you depend on for growth and optimization remain, and only having access to aggregated reporting doesn’t really affect your decision-making capability.

However, for very advanced publishers with big data science teams and sophisticated machine learning models that rely on attributed device-level data, deprecating AMM is a change that requires a paradigm shift. (Still an opportunity too, but certainly a challenge.) The deficit in the amount of data that these publishers are able to ingest (which was already impaired by the removal of device-level view-through attribution data last year) now grows larger, thanks to the drop in click-through and retargeting data availability.

If your internal measurement dashboards are built on AMM data, they may not work. And if your engineering team has built machine learning systems for smart analysis that require this data, they are going to break.

5. We believe this is not just a Facebook event
In all likelihood, we will see other platforms follow the same track.

Today’s privacy implications are the same for every major platform, and while Facebook is leading the change, I fully expect that additional key players will follow suit. Multiple platforms are likely going to change how user-level data is reported and under what conditions advertisers can access it, and so the industry might as well get ready now.


How you can still do granular analysis

MMPs like Singular are certified to handle data privately and in accordance with appropriate rules: national, international, and program-based (like Facebook’s MMP program). We are literally audited on our ability to access, ingest, store, and transform this data safely while abiding by the rules. Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, Singular will still be able to function as a trusted partner: by our customers on the one hand, and by the world’s marketing platforms on the other hand. The data we will receive from Facebook will remain unchanged.

That’s where the innovation comes in.

Singular has always been the world’s best MMP at ingesting, processing, and combining data from multiple sources. Now that’s simply going to be extended.

You’ll of course always have access to your first-party post-install data: what new users are doing. Singular will have device-level parameters for who installed your app. While combining the two can’t be done in your servers, it can be done in Singular servers. We can’t share the device-level data, but we can share measurement insights derived — at least partially — from it.

That changes the game. All of a sudden, the MMP you choose must be world-class at ingesting more of your first-party data to combine with the available-but-not-shareable device level marketing results data. And then they need to allow you to build on-platform measurement models and engines that provide predictive insights

In other words, what matters now is inputs and outputs, and what you do with the outputs to feed your acquisition engines. This is a big part of what we call next-generation marketing measurement.

Now, more than ever before, mobile marketers with scale need an MMP with world-class measurement capabilities as a trusted partner. That means being able to bring in your CRM data, your models, your post-install insights, combining that with device-level data in a private, sandboxed container, and exporting the resulting aggregated insights to you. That likely looks like brands delegating more of what was previously internal measurement to Singular, but the results will be similar.

For instance, LTV prediction has generally been run at the user level, but the results are typically applied at the campaign level. Singular can connect customers’ user-level LTV predictions with the user-level install data and provide aggregated campaign-level insights based on that. This offers high-performance predictions while avoiding user-level data leakage, supporting advanced insights.

This is clearly a change for some, and it may cause some challenges. The good news is that data management and processing is literally a core competency at Singular. We know how to do this. It has been in our DNA since day one. And we’re committed to being your trustworthy measurement partner through this and future changes.


Talk to us

Change can be painful. Please reach out to us to talk through what this will look like, what it will impact, and how you need support from Singular.

We’re always happy to chat, and I’m personally more than happy to take some time and walk through the implications for you.

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