Customers accepting Apple's anti-tracking having 'modest' affect on Google

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Google reports that its earnings have been only modestly affected by Apple's App Tracking Transparency since iOS 14, so far.

Following Apple's introduction of App Tracking Transparency, a reported majority of iPhone users have elected to choose "Ask Not to Track" for their apps. However, the impact on advertisers appears to have been less than expected.

Facebook famously and repeatedly objected to Apple's iOS 14 privacy plans, but its latest earnings show no precipitous decline in advertising revenue. Then Twitter reported the same for its earnings.

Now according to MarketWatch, Google and its parent company Alphabet is saying it was only slightly affected. It reported YouTube revenue of $7.2 billion, just short of analyst predictions of $7.4 billion.

"[We're] pleased with the strength across our business in the third quarter, it was broad-based, it was global," Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said. "In terms of the iOS 14 changes specifically, they had a modest impact on YouTube revenues."

Google and Alphabet gave no further details, but Twitter's Q3 2021 Letter to Shareholders says that the impact was "modest" specifically because of how it has moved to using Apple's SKAdNetwork.

SKAdNetwork is Apple's replacement for the previous Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) tags.

Apple's Craig Federighi previously predicted that the impact would be significantly less than feared, and that this was specifically because of the implementation of SKAdNetwork.

"We introduced intelligent tracking prevention, several years ago," he said, "and at the time, parts of the ad industry were saying that the sky was going to be falling in and that their business was going to be destroyed by the fact that they couldn't track everyone from website to website to website.

"Well, in fact, if you look at what happened to the industry, that didn't happen at all," he continued, "and yet we also protected user privacy."