Facebook criticizes App Tracking Transparency on iPhones once again

Facebook criticizes App Tracking Transparency on iPhones once again
When Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency back with iOS 14.5, a feature that allows iPhone users to opt-out of ad-related activity tracking on their phones, Facebook was not happy with it. Back then, Facebook criticized the new privacy feature claiming it would hurt small businesses' advertising. Now, Mark Zuckerberg is at it again, reports 9to5Mac.

Zuckerberg says Apple has been hurting not only Facebook but "millions of small businesses"

On Monday, Facebook reported its third-quarter financial results that showed $29.1 billion in revenue from advertisements. Despite these results though, the company's CEO Mark Zuckerberg has remained upset about Apple's privacy changes that prevented ad tracking if the user didn't want to be tracked. Reportedly, he stated in an investor call that Apple has been hurting not only Facebook but "millions of small businesses" with these changes.

Zuckerberg stated that Facebook experienced "revenue headwinds" because of Apple's App Tracking transparency and its impact on the advertising business. He criticized the iOS privacy features stating that they affect small businesses that rely on ad platforms in the "difficult times".

He also said that despite the impact these changes had on the social media platform, the company will learn to navigate the "headwinds" over time with investments Facebook is making today.

Another participant in the investor call was Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stated that the iOS privacy changes advantaged Apple's own advertising business. Additionally, Sandberg stated that now it is more difficult to target an ad or measure campaign results when it comes to iPhone and iPad users.

App Tracking Transparency and its impact on the advertisement industry

Apple's App Tracking Transparency, which was introduced back in April with iOS 14.5. The feature presented iPhone users with a prompt to opt-out of advertisement tracking on apps. If people wanted, they could click on a button and thus prevent tracking so they won't receive targeted apps. Understandably, a large number of iPhone users opted out of tracking.

Companies such as Facebook which rely heavily on advertisements disagreed with the new change ever since it was introduced back in April. Facebook criticized Apple on the move, stating multiple times that this change was hurting small businesses.

It was not only Facebook complaining though. Last week, Snap's CEO also stated the company's revenue from Snapchat was affected by the new App Tracking Transparency technology. However, Snap's CEO stated that these changes might be positive in the long run.

By September of this year, according to data from analysis firm Statista, only 21% of iPhone users have decided to opt-in for app tracking and to allow for their activity to be tracked in order to receive targeted ads. The remaining percentage is, understandably, for iPhone users that have opted out and prevented apps from tracking them for ads.

The App Tracking Transparency feature has now started to change the advertising market across the mobile industry. Right now, many advertisers focus primarily on Android devices, as many iPhone users have decided that they do not wish to be tracked for targeted ads.

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Apparently, it's not only advertisers like Facebook that are affected by this change. A couple of months ago, we reported that the new App Tracking Transparency feature is also changing the mobile game industry and is influencing the way game makers have to go about in order to advertise in games, as they cannot be targeted to specific users.

Recently, we reported on another fact: Apple's in-house advertisement business has been experienced growth since the change. Apple has an ad service named Search Ads and it has grown since App Tracking Transparency was introduced on iOS devices.

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