Overlook about “app monitoring transparency”: Fb is producing extra promoting income than ever
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Faebook.
For months, Apple and Facebook waged a public relations war (with threat of legal) over app tracking transparency, a change in the latest versions of the iPhone’s iOS software that will often limit how ad-focused apps and businesses can monetize iPhone users .
Facebook’s original public predictions about the impact of App Tracking Transparency were apocalyptic. But even though app tracking transparency went into effect in Facebook’s final quarter (Q2 2021), the company was still seeing tremendous growth in ad revenue.
Facebook’s revenue, mostly driven by the type of advertising undermining Apple’s iOS change, rose 56 percent year over year in the second quarter, beating investor expectations. The company had 1.9 billion daily active users and 2.9 billion monthly active users. It earned an average of $ 10.12 in revenue per user.
This was the first earnings report Facebook released in a quarter that was designed to show the full impact of app tracking transparency on business results. 56 percent year-over-year growth certainly doesn’t look apocalyptic, but CFO David Wehner told investors to expect a less rosy story in the next quarter:
We continue to expect heightened ad targeting headwinds in 2021 from regulatory and platform changes, especially recent iOS updates, which we expect to have a bigger impact in Q3 than Q2.
The data on user opt-in rates for tracking has changed a lot. Some companies put the figure at just 4 percent, while others give opt-in rates of up to 30 percent. The price will likely depend on the particular app. In any case, the users who sign up are definitely not the majority; Most users refuse to be followed when asked to. And each user who does this is worth a lot less money to Facebook, which makes a lot of it by using each user’s data to bill advertisers for micro-target users and others with similar attributes.
While Facebook’s initial app tracking transparency messages were combative, Zuckerberg recently changed his mind. He began to argue that the change might even be good for Facebook in some ways.
Today, Zuckerberg devotes much of his time to describing his vision for the “Metaverse,” which he identified as the company’s new direction. He described this vision as a mixed reality layer on our lives that allows people to virtually interact and socialize in new ways while overcoming geographic barriers.
But Apple executives have outlined a similar long-term vision, albeit with a very different approach. By forcing Facebook to play by different rules for ad targeting, Apple has strengthened its position vis-à-vis the social media company in every upcoming battle for a future mixed reality computing landscape.
But for this quarter at least, Facebook doesn’t seem to be suffering too much from the recent iOS move.