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.”

Facebook’s cloud gaming service finally launches on iPhone

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Facebook’s cloud gaming service finally launches on iPhone and iPad
After over a year of delays, the real Facebook Gaming service is available for iPhone and iPad.
Image: Cult of Mac

Add Facebook to the list of companies offering a gaming service for iPhone. There’s a lengthy list of titles available on day one, including strategy, role playing, trivia and other types of games.

But don’t look for these in the App Store — Apple’s stringent rules on gaming services caused Facebook Gaming to be introduced as a web app instead.

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Top apps on iOS and Android
Turns out preinstalled apps are the most widely used. Whodda thunkit?
Photo: Comscore/Facebook

Facebook launches Clubhouse clone Live Audio Rooms and new podcast platform

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Facebook
Launching in the US today.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook debuted its Clubhouse-style Live Audio Rooms and new podcast platform Monday, giving users two new ways to engage with the social network — and hopefully keep them hooked for longer.

Public figures and select Facebook Groups in the United States can create Live Rooms on iOS. They can then invite friends, followers, public figures and, well, anyone else who wants to tune in and contribute to an audio session. There can be up to 50 speakers, with no limits on listeners.

Facebook prepares to launch its podcasting platform on June 22

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Facebook
Facebook is getting into the podcast game.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook is gearing up to launch its own podcast platform later this month. Facebook’s podcasts feature will launch June 22, an attempt by the social media giant to muscle in on the incredibly popular and fast-growing podcast market.

Facebook confirmed the news in an email to podcast page owners, seen by The Verge. Users will be able to listen to podcasts directly on Facebook, as well as via a new podcasts tab that has yet to launch. Facebook is also working on a feature that will let listeners create clips from their top shows.

How to hide likes and view counts on Facebook and Instagram

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How to hide likes and views on Facebook and Instagram
Not interested in likes? Get rid of them.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Facebook and Instagram have added the ability to hide likes and view counts — a feature that’s been in the works for a while. You can block counts on your own posts and well as on those from others.

We’ll show you how to enable the setting inside Facebook and Instagram for iPhone and iPad.

Facebook-backed report calls Apple privacy features anticompetitive

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App Tracking Transparency is iOS 14.5's controversial new privacy-related feature.
Is Apple weaponizing privacy to increase its advantage?
Screenshot: Apple

Facebook isn’t backing down in its battle against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. And it’s seemingly got a couple of heavy hitter researchers in its corner.

In a Facebook-funded paper published Wednesday, Feng Zhu, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, and D. Daniel Sokol, a professor of law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, take issue with Apple’s new privacy features — referring to them as “an anticompetitive strategy disguised as a privacy-protecting measure.”

Steve Jobs once called Facebook ‘Fecebooks’

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Steve Jobs once called Facebook ‘Fecebooks’
Typo? Or cutting insult? Apple’s former CEO once used the term “Fecebooks.”
Photo: Cult of Mac

Disagreements between Apple and Facebook have made headlines recently, but bad blood between the two companies dates back decades. In 2011, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs even called the social-networking service “Fecebooks.”

Ad companies argue App Tracking Transparency will drive up cost of apps

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App Store image
Could privacy feature be ultimately bad for users?
Photo: James Yarema/Unsplash CC

A group of media, tech, and ad companies in Germany have made an official antitrust complaint about Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature.

The group, which represents Facebook among other companies, is concerned about the effect the new privacy feature will have on the ad business. It also claims that the feature could wind up hurting users by making apps more expensive.