Automatic App Ads on FB and IG in the cookieless era

Social Media

In recent years, with Apple’s new guidelines regulating app tracking for iOS users, more companies are struggling to improve the results of their in-app ads. In this issue, we’ll discuss our successful case studies of Automatic App Ads and (AAA) and Dynamic ads for Facebook and Instagram as a way to improve results.

App tracking restrictions for iOS Users

In recent years, a movement led by Apple has led to the establishment of rules and regulations for the use of cookies*1 and IDFA*2 by third parties in order to protect the privacy of consumers. ATT (App Tracking Transparency) was introduced in iOS14.5, released in 2021.

ATT is Apple’s new privacy protection guideline for user tracking mainly involving IDFA, which requires users’ permission for app tracking, so that users without permission cannot be tracked. As a result, an increasing number of advertisers are struggling to deliver ads to iOS users after the release of ATT. Under such circumstances, Facebook and Instagram have launched products that promote machine learning through automation to make app campaigns more efficient and maximize effectiveness.

*1: Information stored in web browsers such as Safari and Chrome. Click here for our article on cookieless.
*2: Mobile ad IDs collected from iOS smartphones; known as AAID on Android devices

Automatic ads on Facebook and Instagram?

In September 2020, Facebook and Instagram launched Automated App Ads (AAA), a product that efficiently creates in-app ad campaigns and maximizes performance with simple delivery structures and settings. The delivery method doesn’t specify detailed targeting and delivery placements that are usually set up in a manual in-app campaign, and instead leaves it up to Facebook’s automatic optimization and promotes machine learning. For the ad portion, ads are automatically generated and delivered by combining up to 50 creative elements and multiple text elements for each user.

(Figure 1: Comparison of manual ad campaigns and AAA campaigns)

What’s possible by linking Automatic App Ads and dynamic ads

In August 2021, AAA received an update that allows dynamic ads to be linked. This allows for the automatic posting of creatives from product catalogs, eliminating the need to manually set up and replace up to 50 creative elements if a feed is available.

A look at Automatic App Ads x dynamic ad results

Let’s take a look at the results of an e-commerce company that linked AAA and dynamic ads for a month after the update.

—Case study: Controlling CPI by 58% using feed data

Let’s take a look at an apparel e-commerce company, which we’ll refer to as Company A, which switched from AAA to AAA x Dynamic Ads to improve results. The client had already been using AAA, but had the following issues.

  • Issue 1: Low CTR (click through rate) due to minimal creatives
    Replacing creatives was difficult because new creative generation was unavailable at the time. The CTR was gradually declining due to only having 10 creatives in AAA, which were configured at the beginning of the campaign and significantly lower than the recommended amount.

  • Issue 2: Soaring CPI (cost per install acquisition) for iOS due to ATT
    With the release of ATT in May 2021, the CPI for iOS in particular has been soaring. As mentioned above, this is largely due to the fact that measuring users who have not consented has become impossible.

In response to these issues, IREP came up with the idea of linking AAA and dynamic ads to prevent creative resources from drying up by allowing creatives to be posted from product catalogs. After switching to AAA x Dynamic Ads, creatives were posted from within the product catalog, which contained more than 4,000 products, resulting in a +208% increase in CTR compared to before and after. Automation also improved the install acquisition rate, and in particular, the CPI for iOS improved to the CPI level before the release of ATT.

(Figure 2: Results of switching from AAA to AAA x Dynamic Ads)

Based on these results, we recommend using AAA x Dynamic Ads if a feed exists, even if you’re having difficulty generating creatives.

—Case study: Controlling CPI by 28% using Automatic App Ads

Next, we’ll go over results for Company B, which also operates an e-commerce site. This case study compares a regular manual app campaign x Dynamic Ads and AAA x Dynamic Ads. Unlike the previous case study, Company B had originally used dynamic ads using feeds, but this was its first time using AAA. After the release of ATT, the number of new installs by iOS users was not improving and CPI had increased by about 200%. After conducting A/B testing using AAA x Dynamic Ads, we found that AAA x Dynamic Ads improved reach and CVR (install acquisition rate), and also improved CPI by 28%.

(Figure 3: Performance comparison of AAA x Dynamic Ads vs manual app install objectives x Dynamic Ads)

Despite using the same targeting as the existing manual app install campaign (no targeting specified), the improved results achieved through the use of AAA x Dynamic Ads showed the high accuracy of AAA automation. Improving the install acquisition rate while expanding our reach through the use of AAA is a significant achievement in the cookieless era.


This article discussed Automatic App Ads x Dynamic Ads for Facebook and Instagram apps, which can be used to circumvent the growing restrictions on app tracking for iOS users.

The use of AAA x Dynamic Ads is limited to advertisers who own feeds. If you have both an app and a feed, we recommend that you take advantage of it. For e-commerce companies in particular, this product is an efficient way to expand their app install campaigns.

Even if you don’t have a feed, if you’re running an app promotion or are experiencing a decline in iOS installs due to the impact of ATT, please consider a trial implementation of AAA.

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Irep Inc. is an award-winning global digital marketing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our headquarters are in Tokyo and our network spans more than 20 countries. In Japan, we are ranked No. 1 for performance-based marketing. We also offer highly specialized market entry, as well as integrated marketing and localization services. Since 1997, our data-driven solutions have effectively led our diverse international clientele to continuous success in Japan, Asia, and beyond.

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