Facebook Says Impact of iOS 14.5's App Tracking Transparency Will Be 'Manageable'

Facebook today announced its earnings for the first calendar quarter of 2021, and during the call discussing the results, Facebook executives confirmed that Apple's App Tracking Transparency will have a "manageable" impact on Facebook's business starting in the second quarter.

Apple vs Facebook feature
As highlighted by ZDNet, Facebook CFO Dave Wehner said that Facebook is expecting "increased ad targeting headwinds in 2021 from regulatory and platform changes, notably the recently launched iOS 14.5 update." iOS 14.5 is the update that includes App Tracking Transparency, and it requires app developers to ask for express permission before accessing the IDFA for tracking users across apps and websites.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg went on to explain that Facebook is doing a "huge amount of work" to prepare for the changes to personalized advertising, including rebuilding elements of its advertising platform and making the case that "personalized advertising is good for people and businesses."

We're doing a huge amount of work to prepare. We're working with our customers to implement Apple's API and our own aggregated events measurement API to mitigate the impact of the iOS 14 changes. We're rebuilding meaningful elements of our ad tech so that our system continues to perform when we have access to less data in the future.

And we're part of long-term collaborations with industry bodies like the W3C on initiatives like privacy enhancing technologies that provide personalized experiences while limiting access to people's information. It's also on us to keep making the case that personalized advertising is good for people and businesses, and to better explain how it works so that businesses don't have to understand the alphabet soup of acronyms they'll need to comply with. But they do need to have confidence that they can still use our tools to reach the people who want to buy what they're selling in a privacy-safe way. We're confident they can and that they can continue to get great results as digital advertising evolves.

Wehner said that he believes the impact to Facebook's "own business" will be manageable, and that the company's goal is to maintain and improve ad performance with less data. He also took the opportunity to criticize Apple's platform, and said that Facebook is also facing problems from Apple's private APIs that advantage Apple's own products and services.

Overall, the impact of these specific iOS 14 changes are one element of some of the challenges with Apple, but we think the impact of the Apple approach is really much bigger than this particular update. Apple has a number of private APIs on hardware and software that advantage their own products and services in ways that are challenging. We face that issue in places like our messaging products, and even with the hardware products we're launching. So we generally don't think this closed approach is the best one for the industry from an innovation perspective.

Prior to the enforcement of App Tracking Transparency, Facebook launched a campaign attempting to position Apple as an enemy of small businesses, going as far to take out full page newspaper ads decrying the new feature. "Apple's latest update threatens the personalized ads that millions of small businesses rely on to find and reach customers," reads Facebook's site encouraging small businesses to "add their voice" and speak out against ATT.

There had been questions about Facebook's narrative and how much of an impact the changes would actually have on small businesses, and even Facebook employees felt that Facebook was just using a sympathetic message to "justify doing a bad thing."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in March began downplaying the potential impact of App Tracking Transparency and said that the changes could ultimately benefit Facebook if Apple's new policies encourage businesses to advertise and sell exclusively through Facebook platforms.

Facebook has already begun rolling out its App Tracking Transparency prompt to Facebook users, but the rollout will take a few weeks, so not everyone will see the prompt at the current time.

Top Rated Comments

BWhaler Avatar
10 months ago
Sheryl Sandberg & Zuck. The tobacco executives of the digital age.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
10 months ago
so all that talk before was pure BS?

shocking...
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kenni417 Avatar
10 months ago
yes i’m sure it will, zucc
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheWatchfulOne Avatar
10 months ago
App tracking transparency will be manageable for FaceBook? Sounds like Apple needs to try harder.?
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Corsig Avatar
10 months ago
Then why all the full page newspaper ads?? Something tells me Zuck is full of it
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JungeQuex Avatar
10 months ago

I'm so glad that other than Instagram (that's just useful for my job), Facebook hasn't been a part of my life since 2014
Pretty much. I left Facebook around the same time. However, I made the huge mistake of going back around 2018, and jumped on the social media bandwagon in order to promote some pages.

Anyway, the entire place is a pretty nasty hive of politics and bad will towards one another. Years ago, Facebook was a great way to stay in touch with your friends. Now? It’s a great way to help drive former friends apart.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

Facebook Feature

Zuckerberg Now Claims Apple's App Tracking Transparency Rules Could Benefit Facebook

Thursday March 18, 2021 3:51 pm PDT by
Despite campaigning heavily against Apple's upcoming anti-tracking rules, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today said that Facebook will "be in a good position" when Apple begins enforcing App Tracking Transparency and could even benefit from the changes. "It's possible that we may even be in a stronger position if Apple's changes encourage more businesses to conduct more commerce on our...
facebook tracking notification

Facebook's New App Prompt Will Encourage Users to Accept App and Website Tracking

Monday February 1, 2021 7:57 am PST by
In its ongoing feud with Apple regarding App Tracking Transparency, Facebook has announced that it will encourage users to allow tracking with "additional context" on a dedicated screen, according to an updated blog post. Image via Axios iOS 14's App Tracking Transparency feature will require developers to receive a user's consent to track their activity across apps and websites and access...
Apple vs Facebook feature

Facebook Employees Criticize Campaign Against Apple in Leaked Comments

Wednesday December 23, 2020 3:11 am PST by
Amid a barrage of public attacks on Apple from Facebook over privacy measures, Facebook employees have expressed their displeasure with the direction of the campaign in comments obtained by BuzzFeed News. Last week, Facebook launched a campaign in print newspapers explaining that it was "standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere," and created a website encouraging people to "Spea...
ios 14 tracking permission prompt

Apple Responds to Facebook's Anti-Tracking Criticism, Says Users Deserve Control and Transparency

Wednesday December 16, 2020 4:42 pm PST by
Apple has responded to Facebook's criticism over an upcoming iOS 14 privacy measure — specifically a change that will require users to grant permission for their activity to be tracked for personalized advertising purposes starting early next year. In a statement provided to MacRumors, Apple said "we believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users," adding that "users...
facebook instargram updated att prompt 1

Facebook and Instagram Ask Users to Enable App Tracking in Order to Keep Services 'Free of Charge'

Sunday May 2, 2021 1:22 pm PDT by
As a way to convince users to enable tracking across other apps and websites, Facebook is deploying the tactic of telling users that they must enable tracking as part of the App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 if they want to help keep Facebook and Instagram "free of charge." App Tracking Transparency or ATT is the newest privacy feature to come to iPhone and iPad devices as part ...
Apple vs Facebook feature

Former Employees Explain What Facebook Has to Lose When Apple Implements App Tracking Transparency

Thursday March 11, 2021 3:28 pm PST by
As Apple prepares to implement App Tracking Transparency changes in iOS 14.5, CNBC spoke with several former Facebook employees to get details on why Facebook has been so heavily against the planned privacy updates. Starting this spring, Facebook and other app developers will need to get express permission to access a user's advertising identifier, or IDFA, which is used to track usage...
facebook pay qr codes

Facebook Pay Introduces Personalized QR Codes for Person-to-Person Payments

Monday April 5, 2021 6:51 am PDT by
Facebook Pay is expanding on its service by rolling out person-to-person payments via QR codes, allowing users to scan a friend or family member's QR code, and instantly transfer money. Facebook Pay launched in 2019 as an easy and convenient service for people to transfer money to friends and family, pay businesses, purchase products, and more. It's integrated into all of Facebook's apps,...
Apple vs Facebook feature

Facebook Preparing Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple for 'Unfair' Approach to Privacy and Default Apps

Thursday January 28, 2021 7:22 am PST by
Facebook is preparing to launch a lawsuit against Apple for alleged anticompetitive behaviour, particularly regarding App Tracking Transparency and iMessage, according to The Information. The antitrust lawsuit would contend that Apple has abused its power in the smartphone industry by enforcing App Store rules that Apple itself supposedly does not have to follow. Within this, the case...

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...
apple college discounts

Apple Walks Back UNiDAYS Verification Requirement for U.S. Education Store

Friday January 21, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS. The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added,...