Despite claims by Facebook that Apple’s recent anti-tracking privacy improvements would devastate its advertising revenues, the social network brought in $28 billion in ad revenue during the fiscal second quarter of 2021.
On the company’s Q2 earnings call, the social network revealed it brought in $28 billion in ad revenue, representing a 56% year-on-year increase. Facebook more than doubled its profits from the previous year, earning $10.4 billion, up from $5.2 billion in 2020.
Despite the impressive revenue, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company expects to feel the brunt of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency rules in the third quarter.
“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.”
Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5. The new feature requires app developers to ask for explicit permission before accessing the IDFA for tracking users across apps and websites.
Facebook has spoken out against App Tracking Transparency, even going so far as to take out full-page ads that put Apple in the position of being anti-small business. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ranted against Apple’s aggressive consumer privacy protections, calling Apple’s efforts “competitive interference” with the social network.
However, in March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began changing his tune somewhat, downplaying the impact that App Tracking Transparency would have on the social network. Zuckerberg even went so far as to claim the changes could actually benefit Facebook if Apple’s new policies encourage businesses to advertise and sell exclusively through Facebook platforms.
Early data from ad-measurement firm Branch Metrics shows that less than 33% of iOS users are permitting apps to track them across other apps. The remaining 67% of users opted not to permit apps to track their activity.
This has led to a one-third decrease in the amount of advertiser spending on Apple’s mobile platform between June 1 and July 1, causing advertisers to move their ad spending over to the Android platform instead.