Cheat Sheet: What Facebook’s decision to nix Advanced Mobile Measurement means for marketers

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Facebook’s latest change in its mobile ads business has marketers in a tizzy but the reality is it may not be that bad — at least for most of them. 

Late last week, the social network told marketers that it would nix its Advanced Mobile Measurement program. In a nutshell, AMM is an agreement individual advertisers could sign with Facebook to get access to granular data (view-through and click-through conversions) on their ads via their mobile measurement partner. 

It sounds like a big deal. After all, marketers are managing campaigns at a time when the support systems for their ads are going through all kinds of contortions. But with a week’s worth of perspective to draw on, marketers are coming to terms with what these changes mean and don’t mean for their campaigns. Here’s a primer that outlines all the main points.

Start with the basics: the easiest way to think of Facebook’s latest change is that it controls what MPPs can share with advertisers not what they get from the social network. Last April, Facebook stopped sharing ad impression events via the AMM initiative. The latest move quashes the other bits it continued to share and subsequently sunset AMM.

So why the confusion? Some marketers heard the news and thought the end of AMM would impact the data MMPs got from Facebook — which it doesn’t. Kochava has already tried to ease these concerns across its own clients. It has assured them that it will still receive the granular data from Facebook they need to stand up their measurement and attribution plans as well gain insight into the performance of their ads, whether it’s through seeing metrics like return on investment or lifetime value, for example.

What does this mean for advertisers? Given there are no changes to how MMPs access and report data from Facebook the vast majority of marketers can breathe a sigh of relief — they won’t see much difference in their advertising. Advanced advertisers, however, could be in for a tricky period. These are the advertisers that were exporting raw, log-level data for in-house modeling. Once AMM goes, so does the ability to do this. Still, there aren’t many marketers who were equipped to do this at any real scale. Indeed, this type of user-level data from Facebook was already sparse on iOS devices thanks to Apple’s App Tracking Transparency changes.

“The impact of this is going to be small relative to other changes but it will be significant to many advertisers that did their own analysis on measurement and performance because they’re going to have to rely on MMPs to do that for them,” said Mark Kellogg, head of technical partnerships at mobile analytics company Kochava.

So good news for MMPs: Yes, potentially. The most affected advertisers will become more dependent on MMPs at a time when they were in trouble following the restrictions placed on how data can be gathered on Apple’s device users.

Could the most affected advertisers take their dollars elsewhere? Sure, it could happen but the abundance of data Facebook has access to — means advertisers find it very difficult to walk away. In fact, many marketers aren’t even considering such a move, according to four ad execs interview for this article. Facebook represents a valuable user class wrapped up in a tonne of data for targeting and attribution.

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