Is Apple really costing Facebook billions?

SUMMARY: Apple’s decision to change the privacy settings of iPhones caused an estimated $9.85bn of revenues to evaporate in the second half of this year at Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as the new rules shook their advertising businesses,” the Financial Times wrote. I’m not so sure given that Facebook just had another record quarter.

Apple is a cut-throat competitor, and Facebook has been caught lying so many times it’s hard to trust them at all. Apple’s decision on privacy settings was an intelligent move that benefitted them and hurt Facebook but not to the extent of close to ten billion dollars.

It will be harder to target customers who may raise the CPM and CPA, but advertisers are still finding a way to reach people via social media. I, for example, am a cycling advocate who rides a lot. I’ve noticed that I see more ads for cycle accessories on Facebook and Instagram even though I use Apple’s privacy settings.

Some believe that “targeted” ads based on what products consumers are looking at are a way to help them get that product. Others could care less. There have been, for example, numerous calls for everyone to delete Chrome because of privacy issues, but how many have done this? Has Facebook seen an enormous exodus of advertisers and users because of their dishonesty?

The bottom line is that ads are necessary for sites to make money. If I have to see ads I would rather see ads for products I’m interested in than products I could care less about.

In a lot of ways, the Internet is still broken

I have used various ad blockers, but ads still get through. Like most people, I just disregard them. What is upsetting, though, is the necessity to put content behind a paywall. I do pay for some subscriptions to major news outlets that provide value to ME, but I won’t pay for content with maybe one article I want to read.

In the early days of the Internet, some sites collected content from sites you wanted and put them on one page, so it was easy to review the days’ news without going to five or six bookmarklet sites. I know of one startup trying to duplicate that experience, but they’re running into legal issues with content providers.

Facebook, Google, and Apple all have way too much power over our online lives, but they have no incentive to change as long as advertisers are willing to write them extensive checks for poor results. It will cost more to reach your audience, but costs will adjust for that and come down.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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