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Facebook: Small businesses suffer because of Apple

Facebook has again complained about Apple’s app tracking transparency (ATT), which has been in effect since the summer, with which user tracking across multiple applications must first be approved by it via opt-in – which many users naturally do not do. On the occasion of the announcement of the company’s latest quarterly figures, CEO Mark Zuckerberg could not resist a swipe at the iPhone manufacturer.

The company has set a new record in sales of $ 29.01 billion, of which $ 28.3 billion comes from advertising revenue – an increase of 33 percent in the three months to the end of September. But Facebook had “struggled with sales headwinds in this quarter,” said Zuckerberg. Here the Facebook boss explicitly mentioned Apple’s new tracking protection. This had “negatively influenced” his business.

But not only that: “Millions of small companies” are said to have affected the tracking transparency “in an already difficult economic time”. Fortunately, however, Facebook is able to “navigate through this headwind”. Zuckerberg announced new investments – by which he probably meant new measures to bypass tracking protection. Facebook COO Sherly Sandberg also mentioned Apple and said Apple’s changes would benefit the iPhone company in its advertising business. In fact, there are first signs of the latter – at least for search advertising in the App Store, which Apple has completely mastered.

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Facebook competitor Snap had previously announced that it had about $ 3 million less income because of ATT. Snap boss Evan Spiegel sees Apple’s approach as a positive approach and sees the new tracking protection as positive overall.

In the meantime, the EU Commission is considering whether advertising targeting should be prohibited in principle. The responsible competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager does not currently see this. Smaller companies with low budgets should keep the opportunity to target their customers, Vestager said at a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday – surprisingly very close to Facebook’s statement.


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