Apple's Privacy Features Have Cost Social Media Companies Nearly $10 Billion in Revenue

As a result of its privacy features, Apple has cost social media companies including Meta, formerly known as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube, nearly $10 billion in revenue in the second half of 2021, according to an investigation by the Financial Times.

craig wwdc 2021 privacy
The Financial Times found that most users have opted out of tracking using Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, a requirement that forces developers to ask users if they wish to be tracked across other apps and websites. Data in the report from Lotame, a third-party company, suggests that Meta, YouTube, Twitter, and Snap lost $9.85 billion in revenue in the third and fourth quarters of 2021, with Snapchat and Facebook being the most impacted.

Lotame, an advertising technology company whose clients include The Weather Company and McClatchy, estimated that the four tech platforms lost 12 percent of revenue in the third and fourth quarters, or $9.85bn. Snap fared the worst as a percentage of its business because of its focus on smartphones, while Facebook lost the most in absolute terms because of its size.

ATT has caused social media giants who rely heavily on their ad models, such as Meta, to be remarkably worried about the repercussions of giving users a choice on whether they wish to be tracked or not.

Meta, in particular, has used the narrative that ATT will hurt small businesses that run targeted ads for potential customers. If users tap "Ask App Not to Track" when shown the prompt on initial app launch on newer versions of iOS and iPadOS, that app has considerably fewer data points to use to show them "personalized ads."

Last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg blamed Apple's privacy changes for Meta's lackluster performance this year. Other Meta executives also pointed the finger towards the Cupertino tech giant, claiming that its business would have done better if not for Apple's privacy rules.

Meta’s revenue was impacted by 13.1% percent due to ATT, while Twitter was only impacted by 7.4%. Twitter told the Financial Times that it was less impacted because its "ads rely more on context and branding than on tracking consumers' mobile habits."

Top Rated Comments

IUBall22 Avatar
5 weeks ago
You just hate to hear it
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarpalMac Avatar
5 weeks ago

Good news. Just a heads up to everyone, disable this at an account level and you won’t even be prompted by apps to allow tracking.
Probably just me, but I enjoy the feeling I get when I refuse them permission.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarpalMac Avatar
5 weeks ago
It's a start, but you know what would really hurt Facebook? Uninstalling it and it's awful associated apps. Good riddance.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dantracht Avatar
5 weeks ago
Great news to start a Monday. I'm planning on retiring from Meta/Book soon anyway.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
borntrouble Avatar
5 weeks ago
Thanks Apple!
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NPC Compliant Avatar
5 weeks ago
Good news, everyone!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

peloton logo

Peloton Says Apple's Privacy Rules Limit Its Ability to Gain Subscribers

Friday November 5, 2021 3:57 am PDT by
Peloton has become the latest company to blame Apple's ad-related privacy changes in iOS for negatively impacting its business, according to a new report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Best known for its at-home exercise equipment and online fitness classes, Peloton blamed the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) rules Apple introduced in iOS 14.5 for making it more difficult to add new...
tim cook mark zuckerberg

Apple's Privacy Rules to Blame for Facebook's Lower Than Expected Quarterly Growth, Says Zuckerberg

Tuesday October 26, 2021 3:46 am PDT by
Apple's privacy rules are "negatively affecting" Facebook, and its business, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed during its most recent earnings call. As a quick refresher, starting with iOS 14.5 and all newer versions of iOS and iPadOS, Apple requires that apps ask for users' permission to track them across other apps and websites. Under the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework, the...
Facebook Feature

Facebook Reports Record Ad Revenue for Q2 2021, Despite Apple's iOS Privacy Changes

Thursday July 29, 2021 2:31 am PDT by
Undeterred by Apple's recent anti-tracking privacy changes, Facebook continues to rake in billions in advertising revenue, as evidenced by its latest fiscal 2021 second quarter results announced Wednesday. On the company's Q2 earnings call, the social network revealed it had accumulated $28 billion in ad revenue, representing a 56% year-on-year increase. That saw Facebook more than double...
apple services newsroom

Apple's Services Achieve All-Time Quarterly Revenue Record

Thursday October 28, 2021 2:02 pm PDT by
Apple today reported services revenue of $18.27 billion in the fourth quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, which is an all-time quarterly revenue record. The company's services revenue was up around 25% from $14.54 billion in the year-ago quarter. Apple's services category includes revenue generated from the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple Pay, Apple Card, Apple TV+, Apple News+,...
General iOS 15

Apple Seeds Fourth Betas of iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Thursday December 2, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 15.2 updates to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after seeding the third betas and a month after the launch of iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1. iOS and iPadOS 15.2 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or an iPad. iOS and iPadOS 15.2 add ...
ipad mac side by side

Apple Reports All-Time Quarterly Revenue Record for Macs With 'Strong Demand' for M1 MacBook Air

Thursday October 28, 2021 1:47 pm PDT by
Apple today reported Mac revenue of $9.17 billion in the fourth quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, which is an all-time quarterly revenue record for Macs. Apple CEO Tim Cook said there was "strong demand" for the M1 MacBook Air in particular. No new Macs were released during the quarter, with the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models not being released until after the quarter ended, but...
timcook

Tim Cook: Users Who Want to Sideload Apps Can Use Android, While the iPhone Experience Maximizes 'Security and Privacy'

Tuesday November 9, 2021 8:51 am PST by
Amid a heightened amount of scrutiny and tension surrounding the App Store and how users download and install apps on the iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook said today that customers who wish to sideload apps should consider purchasing an Android device as the experience offered by the iPhone maximizes their security and privacy. Speaking at The New York Times "DealBook" summit, Cook said that...
app tracking transparency prompt ios 14

Twitter Expects Apple's App Tracking Transparency Changes to Have 'Modest Impact' on Revenue

Tuesday February 9, 2021 1:59 pm PST by
Twitter today shared its fourth quarter earnings results and provided some details on expected expenses and revenue in 2021. As noted by CNBC, Twitter believes that Apple's upcoming App Tracking Transparency requirements will have a "modest impact" on revenue. Looking ahead, Twitter said it expects revenue to grow faster than expenses in 2021, assuming the pandemic continues to improve and...

Popular Stories

airtag in hand

Apple AirTag Linked to Increasing Number of Car Thefts, Canadian Police Report

Friday December 3, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple's AirTags are being used in an increasing number of targeted car thefts in Canada, according to local police. Outlined in a news release from York Regional Police, investigators have identified a new method being used by thieves to track down and steal high-end vehicles that takes advantage of the AirTag's location tracking capabilities. While the method of stealing the cars is largely ...
apple top apps games 2020

Apple Reveals the Most Downloaded iOS Apps and Games of 2021

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:05 am PST by
Along with naming its editorial picks for the top apps and games of 2021, Apple today shared charts for the most downloaded free and paid apps and games in the United States across 2021. The number one most downloaded free iPhone app was TikTok, followed by YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The top paid iPhone apps included Procreate Pocket, HotSchedules, The Wonder Weeks, and Touch...
m3 feature black

Macs With 'M3' Chips Expected to Use TSMC's 3nm Chip Technology With Test Production Reportedly Underway

Thursday December 2, 2021 7:36 am PST by
Apple's chipmaking partner TSMC has kicked off pilot production of chips built on its 3nm process, known as N3, according to Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report, citing unnamed industry sources, claims that TSMC will move the process to volume production by the fourth quarter of 2022 and start shipping 3nm chips to customers like Apple and Intel in the first quarter of...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
app store awards 2021

Apple Picks the 2021 App Store Award Winners, Highlighting the Best Apps of the Year

Thursday December 2, 2021 12:01 am PST by
Apple today shared its 2021 App Store Award winners, highlighting the 15 best apps and games selected by Apple's global App Store editorial team. The top apps were chosen for their quality, innovative technology, creative design, and positive cultural impact. "The developers who won App Store Awards in 2021 harnessed their own drive and vision to deliver the best apps and games of the year --...
MBA Mock White Front Blue

2022 MacBook Air Getting Major Display Upgrade With One Drawback

Friday December 3, 2021 3:01 am PST by
Apple's next-generation MacBook Air is reportedly set to bring over many of the new MacBook Pro's features, with one noticeable omission, according to recent reports. The latest MacBook Pro models feature a mini-LED "Liquid Retina XDR" display with deep blacks and support for up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. The display also features Apple's "ProMotion" technology, which is capable of...