Facebook claims that Apple’s latest privacy measures on iOS make it tougher for platforms and apps to track users across other apps and websites will cost the social networking giant $10 billion in 2022.
Facebook, renamed to Meta, on Wednesday reported $33.67 billion in revenue. While higher than expected, earnings per share came up short of analyst expectations. The company also offered lower guidance for the first quarter of 2022, saying it would be expecting around $27 to $29 billion in revenue, short of $30 billion expectations (via CNBC).
Facebook has again claimed that the blame for its weaker performance during the past quarter can be laid squarely on Apple’s shoulders due to the steps the iPhone maker has taken to improve user privacy.
Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework requires apps to ask users for permission before tracking them across other apps and websites. The social network says those privacy measures are negatively impacting Facebook’s business. The company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, claimed the following during the earnings call:
First, ads. Like others in our industry, we’ve faced headwinds as a result of Apple’s iOS changes. As we described last quarter, Apple created two challenges for advertisers. One is that the accuracy of our ads targeting decreased, which increased the cost of driving outcomes. The other is that measuring those outcomes became more difficult.
“And we believe the impact of iOS overall as a headwind on our business in 2022 is on the order of $10 billion, so it’s a pretty significant headwind for our business,” said Facebook’s chief financial officer, David Wehner.
And if you look at it, we believe those restrictions from Apple are designed in a way that carves out browsers from the tracking prompts Apple requires for apps. And so what that means is that search ads could have access to far more third-party data for measurement and optimization purposes than app-based ad platforms like ours.
So when it comes to using data, you can think of it — that it’s not really apples-to apples for us. And as a result, we believe Google’s search ads business could have benefited relative to services like ours that face a different set of restrictions from Apple. And given that Apple continues to take billions of dollars a year from Google Search ads, the incentive clearly exists for this policy discrepancy to continue.
Facebook reporting for the first time on record a drop in the number of daily active users (DAU) using its platform. DAUs stood at 1.93 billion in the final quarter of 2021, lower than 1.95 billion from the previous quarter.
However, Wehner said during the company’s earnings call that DAUs were up 5% year-over-year.
We estimate that approximately 2.8 billion people used at least one of our Family of Apps on a daily basis in December, and that approximately 3.6 billion people used at least one on a monthly basis. Facebook daily active users were 1.93 billion, up 5% or 84 million compared to last year. DAUs represented approximately 66% of the 2.91 billion monthly active users in December. MAUs grew by 115 million or 4% compared to last year.