Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday he is confident the social media company will be "able to handle" Apple's upcoming scheduled iOS 14 update, which will make it easier for iPhone and iPad users to block companies to monitor their activity with the aim of advertising.
Upcoming Apple privacy changes will let users know about device tracking and ask them if they want to allow it.
Tracking will be based on a unique device ID on each iPhone and iPad called IDFA. Companies that sell mobile ads use this ID to target ads and evaluate their effectiveness.
Zuckerberg explained that the change could benefit Facebook as more companies may decide to sell information directly through Facebook and Instagram. Zuckerberg's comments are the most optimistic statements Facebook has made about how Apple's upcoming changes may affect the company's advertising business.
In July 2020, Facebook CFO David Wehner said changes to Apple's iOS 14 could hurt the company's ability to target users with ads, and in August 2020, the company said the changes could lead to a drop of more than 50% in the advertising business, which accounts for less than 10% of the company's net revenue.
The company told investors in announcing fourth-quarter earnings in January that the impact of Apple's changes could begin to affect Facebook at the end of the first quarter.
Facebook is preparing for Apple's upcoming changes by introducing more products to the space. In particular, the company in 2020 presented Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops. These features allow other companies to list product listings directly on the most popular Facebook applications and sell products directly on Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, Zuckerberg said that Facebook already has 1 million active stores in its services and 250 million people actively use them.