Could big social be looking for more than ads to power their next decade of growth? Possibly, but if so, TikTok has a huge advantage on Facebook, Twitter, Snap, and Instagram.
From my story at Forbes:
Big social networks are pulling a massive revenue U-turn since Apple’s introduction of App Tracking Transparency. The user privacy feature, announced in 2020 and implemented in 2021, limits the data Facebook, TikTok, Snap and Instagram can use to target ads, so big social is making a collective push to direct user payments as an alternative to ad-focused monetization.
“Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat are still without paywalls but they now all offer products/services for charge via an in-app purchase (IAP), which Apple and Google get a cut of,” says Adam Blacker, a vice-president at mobile metrics company Apptopia. “TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter combined have grown quarterly IAP revenue 91% since Apple introduced ATT.”
Before iOS 14.5, which introduced Apple’s privacy protections, big social networks made almost all of their money via advertising.