Google and Twitter less impacted by Apple privacy changes than Facebook

27 Oct 2021

Image: © Aleksei/

Apple’s privacy changes had a ‘modest impact’ on YouTube revenue and an effect on Twitter that was ‘lower than expected’.

Alphabet and Twitter both saw revenue grow in the latest quarter – and avoided the strain of Apple privacy changes that impacted other tech platforms.

Earlier this year, Apple introduced a new measure that requires apps to explicitly ask users to turn on data collection capabilities. This prevents advertisers from tracking iOS users without their consent.

Future Human

The move was met with resistance from companies such as Facebook. Following its third-quarter earnings report earlier this week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the changes were “not only affecting our business, but millions of small businesses” and that the company expects to “navigate these headwinds over time”.

Last week, shares in Snap also plunged after the company blamed Apple’s privacy changes for hurting its ad business.

But Google-parent Alphabet brushed off the changes in its third-quarter, with the tech giant reporting that revenue rocketed 41pc to $65.1bn.

Google advertising revenue rose 43pc to $53.13bn and YouTube ads grew from $5.04bn this time last year to $7.21bn.

Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat said the iOS privacy changes had a “modest impact” on YouTube revenues, while analysts said Google was less affected than other tech players because its search engine still collects user data that is valuable to advertisers.

‘Modest impact’ on Twitter

Twitter also said the impact of iOS changes on its third-quarter revenue was “lower than expected”, and the social platform is preparing for “an ongoing modest impact” in the next quarter.

“The impact of [Apple’s App Tracking Transparency] is likely to vary across ad platforms given the unique mix of ad formats, signal and remediations on each, as well as other factors,” Twitter said in a letter to shareholders.

“The mitigations we have put in place, and the speed with which we have adopted new standards and resulting changes across our technical stack, have contributed to minimising the impact to us.”

Twitter ad revenue was up by more than 41pc to $1.14bn, which it said was the strongest year-on-year growth in Q3 reported in the last three years.

Overall, Twitter reported quarterly revenue in line with estimates. Total revenue, which includes advertising, data licensing and other revenue, rose 37pc to $1.28bn.

The number of monetisable daily active users on the platform was up 13pc compared to last year to reach 211m. Twitter said this was driven by “ongoing product improvements and global conversation around current events”.

The company has rolled out several new features in recent months including Spaces, Communities, Tips and new functions to curb online harassment.

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Sarah Harford is sub-editor of Silicon Republic