Facebook announced in February that Apple's app tracking transparency would reduce its revenue by about US$10 billion in 2022.
The social giant's statement is the most exact data point about the impact of Apple's move on the ad industry so far. It reduces Facebook's targeting opportunities by limiting advertisers' access to iPhone user IDs.
Social media are changing the way ads are delivered
Apple's idea of a more private web is not beneficial to internet companies that rely on ad revenue – at least in terms of the status quo. Aside from Facebook, Snap expects a loss of US$546 million in 2022, while Twitter expects a similar hit in the ballpark of US$323 million.
To counteract the paradigm shift, social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat are looking for new methods to help them adapt and provide ad advantages to customers.
For example, Facebook introduced what's called "aggregated event management," allowing ad authors to track limited conversions on iOS devices.
A new approach to retargeting
Retargeting has always been a popular option in the context of PPC tools like Google Ads. In the past, it helped companies raise brand awareness and encourage previous site visitors to return and complete their purchases.
Search ads are still viable, as they're based on things like keywords and search intent rather than tracking people's personal data. But retargeted audiences will almost surely decrease as more users opt out due to Apple's policy shift.
Constant concerns about data privacy from users means brands need to get savvier with things like Google Analytics, first-party Facebook data sources, and owned data for lookalike audiences and Facebook ad retargeting.
Encouraging trust and better relationships with customers
Safari started blocking third-party cookies by default in 2020. This, combined with other iOS changes, has pushed advertisers and competitors to adjust.
For example, Google declared at the start of 2021 that it would ban third-party cookies on Chrome, a massive move as more than 3 billion people use the browser. Google is also rolling out identity verification across its Google Ads suite to bolster audience trust.
Because Apple's privacy changes are on an opt-in basis, the goal is for companies to incentivize their customers to voluntarily accept and conform to personal data tracking.
Encouragingly, new intel from analytics firm Adjust (via 9to5Mac) shows that the number of users on iOS who do opt in to this kind of tracking has risen from 16% in 2021 to 25% in 2022.
The report expresses optimism, saying that apps can expect an upward trend for opt-ins from users, as some will prefer more personalized ads and experiences in general.
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