Elimination of the 72-Hour Pause for Facebook Ad Set Optimization

Heading up to the launch of Aggregated Event Measurement and the enforcement of other changes related to iOS 14, one of the biggest things we heard repeated was that we needed to give thought to ranking our eight pixel events because changing them would be problematic.

Well, Facebook appears to have made a change here — at least a change that is reflected in their own documentation. Let’s take a closer look at the 72-hour pause, how documentation reads now, and how to address this going forward.

The 72-Hour Pause

In prior posts and training, I’ve advocated for assembling an 8-event ranking that is flexible and can continue to be usable six months or a year from now. I suggested grouping purchase events by category as an example, rather than relying only on the Purchase standard event.

Why? Because any change to your ranking of those events could have a significant — and annoying — impact on the delivery of your ads.

72-hour pause

How would this be applied? It would appear that adding a new event, changing the order, and removing an event from the ranking could potentially result in significant disruption.

Advertisers approached this with extreme caution. No one wanted a 72-hour pause.

The Update to Facebook Documentation

Facebook documentation has been updated to reflect a softer handling of changes to your event ranking.

Per Facebook:

You can submit changes to your web event configuration once every 72 hours. When you confirm your changes, ad sets immediately start optimizing for the new event configuration.

So, now it would appear that you can make these changes without disruption. The caveat, of course, is that once you make a change to event ranking you won’t be able to make another change for 72 hours.

Given that advertisers have been conditioned to not make any changes ever under threat of 72-hour pause, I don’t think most will mind being limited to making changes once every three days.

72-Hour Pause for App Advertising

An important distinction, however, is that while the delay has been scrubbed from Facebook documentation related to Aggregated Event Measurement, it still exists for SKAdnetwork. This is the protocol used for handling users who opted out of tracking for app advertising.

If you run ads to promote app installs and engagement, this applies to you. If you don’t, you can ignore this part.

From that same article:

If you change the priority order or remove an event, impacted ads and ad sets are paused for 72 hours to eliminate the risk of incorrect attribution.

Again, this is for app advertising only, not for optimizing for and tracking website conversions.

Should You Make Changes?

The confusing part, of course, is that I still get the 72-hour pause warning when I look to make changes. The screen shot I shared above was from today, not the distant past. My assumption is that this alert simply needs to be updated.

It’s also possible that this change hasn’t been completely rolled out yet. Something to keep in mind before you test this update. It’s possible that while Facebook’s official stand is that a 72-hour pause will not occur, it hasn’t been applied globally yet.

Worst case scenario, you may want to consider testing this only if a 72-hour pause isn’t a significant risk. You may need to optimize for something else for a short period of time.

Have you made changes to your 8-event ranking lately? Did it result in a pause?

Let me know in the comments below!