Meta's Q4 earnings report received plenty of analysis of this week. Unfortunately, much of it has been…quite bad.
This discussion from Eric Seufert is not one of those 'quite bad' examples.
Ultimately, it seems that many armchair commentators are simply surprised by this outcome. But if so, it means they haven't been paying attention — one common question appears to be why Meta got clobbered this quarter while Snap received a pass, but that requires conveniently forgetting what happened to Snap in Q3.
The reality is that this chess board really hasn't shifted significantly since last July.
AppTrackingTransparency opt-in rates haven't suddenly gone up or down, and Apple is still taking an approach to ATT enforcement that can best described as 'hands off'. An ecosystem shock of this size takes time to shake out, and that process is happening at different rates in different places.
In fact, perhaps the biggest reason we didn't see all of this start much sooner is the COVID interlude from summer 2021. That kept many advertisers feeling optimistic and spending liberally, leading to a temporary boost in campaign spending that was enough to sweep the impact of ATT under the rug for a while.