The Wonderful World of Attribution

If you advertise on Facebook, Ads Manager had a major update last week that caused ripples throughout the industry - attribution settings. 

Across all ad sets, conversion metric totals will only be shown where there is a single common attribution setting being used. Where multiple attribution settings are used, conversion metric totals are not shown. You can use the new Attribution Setting column to see which settings are being used. - link

What this means for the advertiser is that summary totals in Ads Manager are more or less deprecated unless all of  their ad sets use the same attribution setting.

What Is the Attribution Setting?

Up until January 19th, this was an often overlooked aspect of ad sets on Facebook and was named the Conversion Window. (The rollout is still not 100% complete and some of our ad accounts show Conversion Window and others show Attribution Setting.)

This is found in the bottom row of the Optimization & Delivery box in the ad set level view. Longer window choices generally allow more stable platform delivery as the algorithm has more data to optimize against.

Here is the description from Facebook:

Select the amount of time it typically takes for someone to complete a valuable action (conversion) after clicking or viewing your ad. We use data generated using this timeframe to optimize ad delivery. For example, if your conversion window is 1 day, we'll optimize by using data from conversions that happen within 1 day of someone interacting with your ad.

What Now?

First, the updated language in Ads Manager is weird and non-uniform. Attribution Setting now exists in 3 spaces in Ads Manager and has slightly different definitions across the platform.

The second oddity is that Facebook didn’t push an update that easily allows for the summation of conversions on a supported attribution window of 1 day post click. The advertiser can still download the data and sum these on their own side, but Ads Manager is not providing one of it’s most essential features: summing of data.

There are simple ways to supplement this in the short term and we suspect that a fix will be launched. However, this roll out does showcase how much of a broadside this Apple update is to the platforms. 

As a reminder, Facebook’s official announcement only mentioned the step of verifying one’s domain and this aspect of reporting was not in their original messaging.

Next Steps

There are going to be plenty of breaking changes this year on the platforms. Our recommendation is to absorb as much information as possible and then default to an action based approach. 

The advertisers that will win this year are those that will be able to work in unclear conditions. Those with a “when the wind fails, take to the oars” type attitude.

If you want to talk, contact us below!


Photo by Ali Kazal on Unsplash

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