It’s been a good week for social media platforms. Snapchat revealed a 116 per cent YoY increase in revenue for Q2, while Twitter managed to grow its quarterly revenue 76 per cent to reach $US1.19 billion ($1.6 billion).
In a social media ecosystem that is largely dominated by Facebook-owned platforms, the strong results of Twitter and Snapchat should serve as an encouraging sign for the wider industry.
The results could also provide insight into the future of advertising on social media apps.
Ever since Apple announced it would shaking up its privacy settings with the new iOS 14.5 update and asking users to opt-in for tracking via the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) more than a year ago, there have been concerns around how advertisers can connect with customers using iOS apps.
Facebook went so far as to warn advertisers to expect “lower CPMs on Audience Network and likely other ad networks on iOS”.
However, both Twitter and Snapchat have since downplayed the impact of iOS 14.5 on their advertising capabilities.
Twitter also told shareholders that the expected impact of Apple’s changes to IDFA “was lower than expected”, while Snap’s chief business officer, Jeremi Gorman, said, “we observed higher opt-in rates than we are seeing reported generally across the industry, which we believe is due in part to the trust our community has in our products and our business”.
So has the industry overestimated just how detrimental Apple’s privacy changes will be?
According to Reload Media’s performance marketing operations lead Alex McCann, Snap and Twitter’s dismissals of Apple’s iOS 14.5 changes need to be taken with a grain of salt.
“The higher than expected opt-in rates across Snapchat and Twitter could be related to the slow rollout of the system update,” McCann told B&T.
“Devices without the update or those who have turned off the ‘request to track’ option in settings won’t receive the prompt. Apps are still using IDFA for unprompted users, so the impact of the update won’t be fully realised until Apple pushes the prompt to all devices.”
McCann did agree with Snap’s Gorman in regards to the importance of trust.
“As users decide which apps they trust with their data, we will begin to see different opt-in rates emerge,” he said.
“The iOS 14.5 update is a welcome change that is putting power back in the hands of the users, and high-quality platforms will be rewarded with user trust and improved advertising visibility.”
This could mean more good news for the platforms like Twitter and Snapchat, which appear to be attracting a higher opt-in rate than other apps.
“If we continue to see a trend of users placing more trust in platforms like Snapchat and Twitter, it will mean that digital marketers, advertisers and businesses will start to put more spend into these platforms that have better visibility.”
“As we move closer to the end of the year and peak sales periods like Click Frenzy, Singles Day, BFCM and the holiday season, high trust platforms with better opt-in rates are likely to receive more advertising attention.”