Apple announced its controversial anti-tracking feature last year. Social media giants such as Facebook hit back with full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). According to The Financial Times, the major social media companies – Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter – lost $9.85 billion in revenue since the feature was introduced on Apple devices. 

Apple's anti-tracking features cost $10 billion in loss for social media platforms

The iPhone maker released the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy in April this year. As a result, users who opted for the anti-tracking feature would not be tracked by the app makers. The users who are comfortable with apps tracking them, could enable tracking anytime from the settings.

Have to find new creative advertisement techniques

“Some of the platforms that were most impacted — but especially Facebook — have to rebuild their machinery from scratch as a result of ATT,” said Eric Seufert, an ad tech consultant, to the Financial Times. “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.”

Apple's anti-tracking features cost $10 billion in loss for social media platforms
Apple’s anti-tracking features cost $10 billion in loss for social media platforms

Developers and big companies that rely on revenue generated from ads, have been working on implementing new ways of advertising. All the players in the field are trying out creative ways to advertise without actually tracking users. The goal is to generate revenue – have users interact with the ads shown in the apps/services.

Apple has also introduced ‘Personalized Ads’ in iOS 15 – the settings which will apply to the App Store and Apple News. If enabled, the apps and services offered by Apple will analyze the user’s activities such as purchases, search queries, and content read. Previously, the company would collect such data without the consent of the user but now it asks for permission before tracking user activity.

Social media platforms will have to find new ways to generate revenue.


Abhay Ram is a News Editor at iLounge. He has been writing about the Apple ecosystem and accessories since 2010. Abhay's work has been featured in various publications. When he's not writing about all things Apple, you can find him playing video games or enjoying a good cup of coffee.