Late last month, Facebook announced it’s removing the 28-day attribution window in Facebook Ads. The change is effective as of October 12.
Up until now, Facebook has used a 28-day attribution window for ads – by default. Recent changes among browsers to start blocking third-party cookies, however, are making this attribution window a lot less useful.
As Facebook explains in its announcement to advertisers:
“Upcoming digital privacy initiatives affecting multiple browsers will limit business’s ability to measure people’s interactions across domains and devices. Among those limitations is the ability for businesses to attribute conversion events back to an ad over longer attribution windows.”
As a result, Facebook has decided to retire the 28-day attribution window on Facebook Ads, moving directly to the next longest option – 7-day attribution. Advertisers can also switch to the 1-day attribution window. The change – going ahead on October 12 – is meant to strengthen advertising against future browser changes and privacy initiatives.
Advertisers should change any automated rules relying on the 28-day attribution model, i.e., any rules that regulate ad spend and budget based on 28-day performance. On October 12, Facebook Ads will revert to the 7-day model, and this could affect ad spend.
Facebook also says that all historical data won’t be available after that date, however as the change won’t be enforced on the Facebook Ads API, advertisers will be able to get 28-day attribution data for some time.
The 7-day attribution model is actually a better and more realistic view of the impact of ad performance, so the change isn’t going to affect ad campaigns negatively.