Facebook Accelerates Plans To Go Bidding Only For Audience Network Due To Coming IDFA Changes
Starting in Q2 2021, bidding will be the only way to buy ads in iOS apps through Facebook’s Audience Network. At that point, waterfall-based buying will no longer be supported.
Facebook says the goal had always been to become a bidding-only demand source ever since in-app bidding first launched in Audience Network in 2017.
But Facebook is accelerating these plans in preparation for Apple’s impending IDFA changes, which are being delayed until early 2021. The move to bidding-only in Audience Network and the rollout of Apple’s changes are both slated for the first half of next year.
In Facebook’s estimation, waterfall management, already an onerous process, will get a lot more complicated on iOS 14 as ad network performance based on historical CPMs will no longer necessarily indicate future success.
Moving to a unified auction model should help publishers make sure they’re getting the best price for their impressions as networks scramble to adjust to an environment of device ID sparsity.
But it’s unclear exactly how Facebook will value ads targeted to unknown users – or determine whether someone is a high-value user or not – if there’s no device ID.
Amit Bhojwani, head of partnerships for Audience Network, points out that a device ID is only one variable of many that are used to assign value to an impression.
“We continue to work on short- and long-term opportunities with our publishers and partners to alleviate the impact of the likely loss of IDFA,” he said, noting that Facebook will provide updates on this “as they become actionable.”
Putting aside IDFA-related uncertainty, in-app bidding helps publishers earn higher average revenue per daily user. In June, Facebook said that the number of publishers monetizing through a unified auction increased sevenfold over the previous year, and that more than half now reap most of their Audience Network revenue through programmatic bidding.
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