Apple iOS privacy changes will cost Meta (formerly Facebook) a whopping $10 billion in 2022, the company has forecast, accusing Apple of favouring Google over app-based platforms like Facebook with its privacy policies.
In an earnings call with analysts late on Wednesday, Meta CFO David Wehner said that they saw revenue impact with iOS changes in Q4 2021.
“We believe the impact of iOS overall as a headwind on our business in 2022 is on the order of $10 billion, so it’s a pretty significant headwind for our business,” he informed.
Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, released in April 2021, came with an App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature that has affected digital advertising for tech giants.
The CFO said that Google “faces a different set of restrictions from Apple”, suggesting that Apple is favouring Google because of billions of dollars Google will pay Apple in order to remain the default search engine on iOS devices.
“We believe those restrictions from Apple are designed in a way to carve out browsers from the tracking Apple requires for app. So what that means is that search ads could have access to far more third party data, for measurement and optimisation purposes, than app-based ad platforms like ours,” Wehner said.
“Given that Apple continues to take billions of dollars a year from Google Search, the incentive clearly is for this policy discrepancy to continue,” he added.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Meta, said that Q4 was the first holiday season after Apple’s iOS changes, which have had an impact on businesses of all sizes — especially small businesses who rely on digital advertising to grow.
“This will continue to be a factor in 2022. Like others in our industry, we’ve faced headwinds as a result of Apple’s iOS changes,” she mentioned.
Apple created two challenges for advertisers, she said.
“One is that the accuracy of our ads targeting decreased, which increased the cost of driving outcomes. The other is that measuring those outcomes became more difficult”.