Facebook Stock Tanks, Company Says Apple iOS Privacy Change Will Cost Them $10 Billion This Year

Kif Leswing, reporting for CNBC:

Facebook parent Meta said on Wednesday that the privacy change Apple made to its iOS operating system last year will decrease the social media company’s sales this year by about $10 billion. “We believe the impact of iOS overall is a headwind on our business in 2022,” Meta CFO Dave Wehner said on a call with analysts after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report. “It’s on the order of $10 billion, so it’s a pretty significant headwind for our business.”

Facebook’s admission is the most concrete data point so far on the impact to the advertising industry of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature, which reduces targeting capabilities by limiting advertisers from accessing an iPhone user identifier.

Meta shares sank 23% in extended trading on Wednesday after the company warned about numerous challenges and came up short on user numbers. Facebook said first quarter revenue will be $27 billion to $29 billion, while analysts were expecting that number to exceed $30 billion.

Wehner said the $10 billion revenue hit this year is merely a best guess.

Facebook’s stock stayed down all day, wiping $200 billion in value from the company’s market cap — the biggest one-day drop in market value ever. Couldn’t happen to a nicer company.

Worth noting that on Facebook’s analyst call, when pressed on this $10 billion figure, Wehner offered nothing to back it up. Really strong vibes of “The problem isn’t us, or our products — it’s mean old anti-competitive Apple.” It doesn’t seem like anyone bought that line.

Thursday, 3 February 2022