Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature costs social media apps nearly $10 billion in ad revenue
App Tracking Transparency is great for iOS users, not so much for advertisers
In other words, Apple is asking users whether they are giving third-party apps permission to share data like their ages, locations, browsing histories, spending habits, and health. Some apps with embedded trackers share this data with advertisers and data brokers. This information becomes a digital profile that is sold to others who use the profile to send these users targeted ads and make predictions on how they will respond under certain circumstances.
Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature
As Apple notes, this has been going on without your permission and has made you the product. When ATT was first announced by Apple, Facebook took it hard saying that it was going to hurt small businesses since the vast majority of iOS users would probably withhold permission to be tracked. And, by the way, Facebook was also worried about its own business as heavily dependent on advertising as it is.
On a percentage basis, Snap lost the largest amount of money because its advertising is tied the most to smartphones. Marketing consultant Eric Seufert told The Financial Times that “Some of the platforms that were most impacted — but especially Facebook — have to rebuild their machinery from scratch as a result of ATT. My belief is that it takes at least one year to build new infrastructure. New tools and frameworks need to be developed from scratch and tested extensively before being deployed to a high number of users.”
Is Apple using ATT as a smokescreen to hide its own advertising ambitions?
Some also believe that Apple created App Tracking Transparency and its other privacy features in order to expand its own advertising business. One analyst said that ATT could be a smokescreen used to hide Apple’s real desire to create its own search algorithm. By one count, Apple’s advertising business has tripled ever since it made the privacy changes.