App Tracking Transparency hasn’t hurt Facebook’s ad revenue… yet

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Facebook released its latest earnings report Wednesday.
Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature hasn’t been enough to stop Facebook from pulling in a massive $28 billion in ad revenue for the second quarter of 2021. That represents a 56% increase year-on-year. Facebook earned $10.4 billion in total profits for the quarter.

While Apple’s anti-tracking privacy measures weren’t explicitly designed to hurt Facebook, Facebook has been outspoken about the impacts they would have on its business. A recent Facebook-funded research paper called the iOS 14 feature an “anti-competitive strategy disguised as a privacy-protecting measure.”

However, don’t think that Facebook has totally escaped the effects of the new feature. In its earnings report Facebook notes that:

“We continue to expect increased ad targeting headwinds in 2021 from regulatory and platform changes, notably the recent iOS updates , which we expect to have a greater impact in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. This is factored into our outlook.”

For the quarter, daily active users on Facebook were up 7% year-over-year, reaching 1.91 billion for June. Monthly active users were also up 7% to 2.9 billion in June.

App Tracking Transparency

App Tracking Transparency was one of the biggest features introduced with iOS 14.5. It was initially shown off at WWDC last summer, although it only actually shipped as an iOS feature this April. It blocks third-party applications from being able to track users with explicit permission.

Facebook, which relies on advertising for its revenue, immediately took issue with App Tracking Transparency. The social media giant argued that it was a bad move for small businesses, which required Facebook’s targeted ad service.

Relations between Apple and Facebook have been strained in recent years, particularly since Tim Cook took over at Apple as CEO. Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs, was much closer with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Source: Facebook