Tuesday, 26 October 2021 10:59

Facebook acknowledges Apple privacy changes have hit its revenue Featured

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Facebook chief financial officer David Wehner. Facebook chief financial officer David Wehner. Courtesy Facebook

Facebook has cited the privacy rule changes made by Apple in April for the uncertain outlook it faces in the fourth quarter, after the company released third-quarter results on Monday.

Chief financial officer David Wehner said in a statement: "We expect fourth quarter 2021 total revenue to be in a range of US$31.5 billion (A$42 billion) to $34 billion.

"Our outlook reflects the significant uncertainty we face in the fourth quarter in light of continued headwinds from Apple's iOS 14 changes, and macro-economic and COVID-related factors.

"In addition, we expect non-ads revenue to be down year-over-year in the fourth quarter as we lap the strong launch of Quest 2 during last year's holiday shopping season."

Apple announced at the beginning of April that it would be rolling out new features in iOS and iPadOS, that would add to app tracking.

The company said: "A new app tracking section in Settings lets you easily see which of your apps have been given permission to track you, so you can change your preferences and disable apps from asking in the future.

"Starting in early 2021, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 or later will require developers to get your permission before tracking your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for ads or data brokers."

A few days after this announcement, Facebook said it would make some technology tweaks to cope with these changes.

For the third quarter, Facebook reported revenue of US$29 billion, an increase of 35% year-on-year. Profits rose to US$9.1 billion from US$7.8 billion year-on-year, an increase of 17%.

Wehner also said the company would break out Facebook Reality Labs as a separate reporting segment from the next quarter onwards.

"Under this reporting structure, we will provide revenue and operating profit for two segments: the first segment, Family of Apps, will include Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and other services," he said.

"The second segment, Facebook Reality Labs, will include augmented and virtual reality related hardware, software and content. We expect our investment in Facebook Reality Labs to reduce our overall operating profit in 2021 by approximately US$10 billion."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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