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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Wednesday that changes to Apple’s new privacy terms will continue to cause headwinds for its ads business in the third quarter.

Why it matters: Facebook doesn’t typically provide these types of updates outside of earnings calls. The update signals to investors that the company is seeing numbers in the current quarter that reinforce previous warnings about impact from Apple’s changes.

  • In a blog post Facebook’s VP of Product Marketing Graham Mudd wrote, “As we noted during our earnings call in July, we expected increased headwinds from platform changes, notably the recent iOS updates, to have a greater impact in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.”

The big picture: The admission is likely to intensify an ongoing spat between Facebook and Apple.

  • Facebook has been saying for months that Apple’s tracking changes are not about privacy, but rather a move to assert dominance.
  • Apple says it changes aim to improve the experience for consumers.

Details: Facebook also revealed that it had been inadvertently under-reporting web conversions, such as a sale or an app install, which has led advertisers to believe their ads weren't as effective.

  • The tech giant said that as a result of the under-reporting, the measurement of their performance was on average 15% worse than it would have been.
  • Referring to the company's advertisers, Mudd wrote: "We've heard from many of you that the impact on your advertising investment has been greater than you expected. The cost of achieving your business outcome may have increased and it’s also gotten harder to measure your campaigns on our platform. In some cases, this is due to underreporting on our part."
  • ”In some cases, this is due to underreporting on our part. Our estimate is that in aggregate we are underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 15%; however there is a broad range for individual advertisers. We believe that real world conversions, like sales and app installs, are higher than what is being reported for many advertisers. We are committed to helping you better measure these outcomes and improve your performance.”

Flashback: Facebook said in its second earnings call that it expected Apple’s changes to have a greater impact on its third quarter revenues than its second.

  • Apple delayed the rollout of its new app tracking transparency feature, which is why its impact is being felt now.
  • Adoption of Apple’s latest software update, iOS 14.5, mostly concluded during month of June.

Between the lines: A Facebook source says advertisers have wanted more clarity from the tech giant about how to handle the changes to ad targeting caused by Apple’s new privacy terms.

:

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 17, 2021 - Technology

Intel CEO wants to compete against Apple

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger hasn't given up on the idea of the Mac once again using Intel chips, but he acknowledges it will probably be years before he gets that chance.

  • In the meantime, he is focused on powering Windows machines that give Apple CEO Tim Cook a run for his money.

Why it matters: In getting pushed out of the Mac, Intel not only lost a customer but picked up a new rival.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Facebook paying up to $14M to settle employment discrimination claims

Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Facebook has agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle allegations that it discriminated against American workers by reserving positions for temporary visa holders, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The settlement represents the largest civil penalty and monetary award that the Civil Rights Division has recovered in the 35-year history of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Mapping repression in China's Xinjiang region

Data: © Mapbox, © OpenStreetMap; Map: Will Chase/Axios

A sweeping new report released today by an Australian research organization reveals new details about how the Chinese Communist Party — and specifically who within the party — is carrying out its campaign of repression in Xinjiang.

Why it matters: Uncovering the actual offices and individuals implementing the Chinese government's genocide and forced labor policies in Xinjiang can bring accountability and help international companies delink supply chains in compliance with U.S. and EU forced labor laws.