How Apple made social media lose $ 10 billion

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With its new privacy policy implemented last April, Apple has lost nearly $ 10 billion to social networks. This is what emerges from a survey published by the Financial Times.

Dreaded by the world of online advertising, Apple’s new privacy policy would indeed make social media giants lose money, according to a survey published by the Financial Times. The Cupertino giant’s new measure to better protect the privacy of iOS users resulted in a shortfall of $ 9.85 billion, or about 8.5 billion euros in the second half of 2021, for Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These giants of social networks have indeed seen their advertising activities be shaken by the new rules.

As early as 2020, Tim Cook and his teams had promised the arrival of a function intended to strengthen the respect for the privacy of users. Available since last April when an update was rolled out, App Tracking Transparency (ATT) requires apps to be more transparent before collecting personal data and tracking iOS user activity. IPhone or iPad owners can refuse this tracking and the vast majority have chosen this option, to the chagrin of Facebook. The social network, whose parent company is now called Meta, has been in open conflict with Apple for many months following this decision.

Facebook and Snap would be the most affected

According to Lotame, the advertising technology company behind the study, the four platforms (Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) lost 12% of their advertising revenue in the third and fourth quarters. However, not all companies are in the same boat and it is Facebook – which derives almost all of its revenue from advertising – which would be the most affected by this measure. The social media giant would be affected up to 13.2% of its turnover, or more than $ 8 billion. If Facebook is the one who lost the most “In absolute terms” Due to its size, Snap also seems to suffer from this situation. Affected in the same proportions as Facebook (13.2% of its revenues), the little ghost is the most affected (around $ 200 million) because its business model is heavily based on mobile advertising.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. © Apple

The situation could even be worse since Lotame’s estimates are considered quite conservative. Consultant Eric Seufert estimates that Facebook alone could register a shortfall of $ 8.3 billion in recent quarters. He adds that the trend is expected to continue over the next few months.

Conversely, Alphabet (parent company of Google) and Twitter were relatively spared by Apple’s new policy. the Financial Times reports that Twitter was less affected by App Tracking Transparency, as its ads rely more on context and branding than on user habits. For its part, Alphabet is regularly touted as a data vacuum cleaner, but the company is said to have enough data through its own services not to suffer the effects of third parties. YouTube is an exception, but the platform has managed to limit the impact of the new rules.

Apple is reshuffling the advertising market with its anti-tracking system

We finally learn that Google could be one of the winners of this situation, the advertisers having decided to turn to Android. The other winner could be Apple, which is looking to develop its own advertising business. This situation would confirm the words of Mark Zuckerberg who confided at the beginning of the year that Apple was “One of its main competitors”. However, the Cupertino company would not fight on equal terms in this segment against companies like Google or Facebook which have many services and data.

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