David Wehner, CFO on Facebook.
Harriet Taylor | CNBC
Top Facebook official David Wehner said Thursday that future changes to Apple’s iOS 14 operating system could impair the social network’s ability to target ads to users.
By updating its mobile devices, Apple will ask users if they want to allow app developers to track their activity across apps and other sites. Apple has not said when iOS 14 will be released, but it is expected to be completed this year.
“We are still trying to understand what these changes will look like and how they will affect us and the rest of the industry, but at the very least, it will become more difficult for app developers and others to grow using ads on Facebook and elsewhere, “Wehner said.
So far, advertisers can use a device ID number called IDFA to better target ads and evaluate their effectiveness. In iOS 14, any app that wants to use these identifiers will ask users to select tracking when the app first launches.
The change is expected to start affecting Facebook ads in the third quarter but it will have a more pronounced effect in the fourth quarter, Wehner said.
The company forecasts revenue growth for the third quarter of about 10%, beating analysts’ expectations for growth of 7.9%.
“Our view is that Facebook and targeted advertising are a lifeline for small businesses, especially in the Covid era, and we are concerned that the platform’s aggressive policies will cut to that point of salvation at a time when it is so essential to small business growth and recovery, “Wehner said.
WATCH: Facebook beats at the top and bottom line in Q2