Apple’s new privacy changes have cost Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat nearly $10 billion

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Social media platforms—Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube lost around $9.85 billion in revenue following Apple’s changes to its privacy practices, revealed an investigation by The Financial Times.

Advertisement technology company Lotame estimated that the four social media platforms lost 12 percent of revenue in the third and fourth quarters. This development comes after the new iOS App Store policy requires apps to ask permission to track users’ data across other apps and websites.

The policy went into effect in April, barring apps from tracking users if they opt-out. Apple in a statement told App Store developers that “unless you (app developers) receive permission from the user to enable tracking, the device’s advertising identifier value will be all zeros and you may not track them.”

When the move was announced, Facebook had criticised Apple’s new system stating that it will make it harder and more expensive for advertising networks to target customers, which will hurt small businesses that rely on targeted ad campaigns. Facebook had also published full-page ads protesting against the changes in Apple’s new privacy policy.

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, said that the biggest impact to them has come from iOS 14 changes which advantaged Apple’s own advertising business. “One is that the accuracy of our ads targeting decreased, which increased the cost of driving outcomes for our advertisers. And the other is that measuring those outcomes became more difficult.”

Earlier, a report from The Information revealed that this new policy will hurt less than 5 percent of Facebook’s $84 billion annual ad revenue. “Some of the platforms that were most impacted — but especially Facebook — have to rebuild their machinery from scratch as a result of ATT,” adtech consultant Eric Seufert told The Financial Times.

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