Apple is about to hit Facebook with a heavy blow that will weigh on the data-hungry social network’s revenue and may force it to change its ways. That’s because in September of this year, Apple will launch its iOS 15 operating system update, bringing with it several new iPhone features.
Among these are privacy reports, which will show you how often apps access your iPhone’s camera and contacts, as well as which third-party domains you contact and when. In iOS 15, Apple is also introducing features that will help end email tracking on your iPhone. The iPhone maker is also improving its Safari browser with privacy controls such as its iCloud + private relay.
It comes after Apple introduced app tracking transparency in iOS 14.5 at the end of April. The new iPhone feature is hurting the likes of Facebook by making app and website tracking only enabled.
Tracking the iPhone impacted by the change is done through something called the Advertiser Identifier (IDFA), a unique code that allows businesses such as Facebook and its advertisers to see what ads you have. interacted and when. But when users decline tracking on their iPhones, the app developer can no longer track them because instead of IDFA, they will simply receive a string of zeros.
And as expected, the ATT of iOS 14.5 has already hurt Facebook and its advertisers. In fact, the latest figures from Branch, which analyzes the growth of mobile apps, show that 75% of iPhone users refuse to be tracked on their iPhones.
Facebook announces exceptional revenue in the second quarter, but how?
Facebook complained about Apple’s iPhone privacy change long before its launch, even releasing full newspaper advertisements in protest. But last week, Facebook surprised everyone by releasing second quarter results that saw the social network perform well above expectations with a 56% increase in revenue to $ 29 billion. So what is going on?
There are a few things at stake, but in a nutshell, Apple only introduced ATT after the launch of iOS 14.5 in late April, and while these results are for Facebook’s second quarter, the tracking changes would not have started. to have an impact.
This is because many app developers have been slow to implement it, so “Ask app not to follow” prompts only appear to many iPhone users now. Facebook will be hit even harder when Apple launches its new iPhone features in iOS 15 in September, which builds more on ATT. The real change will happen in the third and fourth quarters of Facebook.
Facebook acknowledges this and states in its outlook: “We continue to expect an increase in headwinds for ad targeting in 2021 due to regulatory and platform changes, including recent iOS updates, which are expected. have a greater impact in the third trimester compared to the second trimester. “
There is no doubt that the privacy features of Apple’s iOS 14 and the upcoming changes to iOS 15 are dramatically changing the market. We can only hope that the advertising industry responds positively, with methods that are less invasive of privacy than previous tactics.
And while the privacy community, myself included, feels very positive about Apple’s position, the iPhone maker’s latest move to potentially allow access to iCloud and iMessage photos is also a big one. concern.