Facebook Reports Record Ad Revenue for Q2 2021, Despite Apple's iOS Privacy Changes

Facebook's latest fiscal 2021 second quarter results, announced Wednesday, show that it is not deterred by Apple’s recent privacy anti-tracking privacy policies.The social network announced that it had generated $28 billion in advertising revenue during its Q2 earnings call. This represents a 56% increase year-over-year. Facebook saw a more than two-fold increase in its profits over the year before, with $10.4 billion, an increase of $5.2 billion from 2020.While the main revenue stream figures were not disclosed, David Wehner, Facebook's Chief Financial Officer, said that the company expected to be the most affected by Apple's App Tracking Transparency rules during the third quarter."We expect increased ad targeting headwinds for 2021 due to regulatory and platform changes. We are particularly concerned about the recent iOS updates which we believe will have a larger impact on the third quarter than the second quarter."Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14.5. This requires app developers ask for explicit permission before they can access the IDFA to track users across different apps.Facebook ran a campaign to portray Apple as an enemy of small business before the implementation of App Tracking Transparency. Full page newspaper ads were even published decrying this new feature. "Apple's recent update threatens personalized ads that millions small businesses rely upon to find and reach their customers," Facebook's website states. It encourages small businesses to "add your voice" to protest ATT.In March, however, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, began to downplay the potential impact of App tracking transparency and stated that Facebook could benefit from the changes if Apple's policies encourage businesses only to sell and advertise through Facebook.Branch Metrics' early data shows that less than 33% iOS users have allowed apps to track their activity across other apps. The remaining 67% of iOS users chose not to allow apps to track their activities. Advertiser spending on Apple's iOS platform has dropped by approximately one-third since June 1, and advertisers are now spending more money on Android users.Facebook announced Wednesday's earnings conference that the number of active users across Facebook and Instagram has increased by 12 percent year-on-year. 2.76 billion people are now considered daily active users.