At its Q3 2021 earnings conference, Facebook reported $29.01 billion in revenue from advertisements. Even then, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed discontent with Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature and said that it hurting “millions of small businesses” including Facebook.
Apple introduced a new ATT privacy feature on iOS which allows users control over which apps can track their activity across third-party apps and websites by opt-in app tracking. However, digital advertisers like Facebook have vehemently criticized and opposed the feature because it impacts their targeted ads business model which heavily relies on tracking users’ online activity.
For its fiscal 2021 second-quarter, Facebook saw a record $29 billion in revenue, which is a 56% year-over-year growth, after Apple released anti-tracking privacy changes in iOS 14.5. But social media tech giant deems the $29 billion in ad revenue in the third quarter of 2021 as “revenue headwinds” due to Apple’s ATT privacy feature.
Facebook complains of earning $29 billion “revenue headwinds” because of Apple’s app tracking changes
At the event and on his official Facebook account, Zuckerburg took a jab at Apple for adversely impacting small businesses’ earnings in a difficult time. He wrote:
As expected, we did experience revenue headwinds this quarter, including from Apple’s changes that are not only negatively affecting our business, but millions of small businesses in what is already a difficult time for them in the economy. Sheryl and Dave will talk about this more later, but the bottom line is we expect we’ll be able to navigate these headwinds over time with investments that we’re already making today.
Furthermore, the company’s COO Sheryl Sandberg accused the Cupertino tech giant of anticompetitive behavior by launching the privacy changes “advantaged Apple’s own advertising business.” She added that ATT has made it more difficult to run targeted ads or measure campaign results.
On the other hand, Digital Rights Activities have applauded Cupertino tech giant’s efforts to limit the reach of invasive practices which invade users’ privacy to run their targetted ads.