As smart as humans are in terms of pure intelligence and creativity, they cannot be left unsupervised. This has been proven time and again, hence things like regulatory bodies and policies are now a mainstay in our lives. Now, there is no denying that these policies do play a major role in deciding how we go about certain things, but in all honesty, they haven’t been entirely successful in their job. To contextualize this statement, we just have to look at all the cases of companies bypassing the regulations with an almost disturbing level of ease. The worst part is that, under the current environment, many such companies are not even facing any consequences for doing so. All the inroads that you can make today with the help of technology mean that it’s harder than ever before for the regulators to spot any inconsistencies. This, as you can guess, gives every bit of advantage to the companies out there. So far, they have made the most of it through different methods, even resorting to consumer exploitation at times. Nevertheless, with the governing bodies looking more and more settled within the tech stratosphere, these organizations’ heyday might be coming to an end, and a recent investigation done by Financial Times testifies for that big time.
According to the findings of Financial Times’ investigation, companies like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube lost an estimated $9.85 billion in revenue following Apple’s announcement of its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy last year. The new policy, which was brought into effect around April 2020, basically mandated the applications to seek user’s permission before collecting any type of personal data. In a case where user refuses to grant the permission, the apps would have no option but to opt out of tracking their device. Using personal data to construct advertising patterns is possibly the biggest revenue generator for such companies; therefore Apple buckling under regulatory pressure impacted a host of bottom lines.
At the time, Facebook happened to be one of the few companies to publically criticize the move. It didn’t give a good look, but when you realize the social media giant lost the most money out of everyone, the piercing dissent begins to explain itself.
“Some of the platforms that were most impacted — but especially Facebook — have to rebuild their machinery from scratch as a result of ATT,” said adtech consultant, Eric Seufert. “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.”
However, if we are strictly talking about alterations in the growth rate, it was Snapchat that fell into the deep end of the barrel mainly due to company’s complete dependency on smartphones. Apart from these platforms, Apple’s advertising program also had to take a huge blow in the face, as the program’s search for a less invasive revenue source continues to go on.