Bumble warns Apple privacy push could hurt business in IPO filing

Posted:
in iOS
The dating app Bumble used its IPO filing on Friday to warn investors Apple's ongoing efforts to improve user privacy may hurt its bottom line in the long run.




On Friday, Bumble filed its IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which reveals Bumble's plans ahead of selling stock to the public for the first time. Within the filing, which includes lists of things that could be a risk to the company's future existence, Bumble mentions Apple's Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and changes that will make it harder to use the code for advertising to users.

The IDFA is a string of characters used to refer to a specific user's iPhone, which can be used by advertisers to track a user and offer a more personalized and targeted advertising. As part of Apple's expansion of privacy protection, the company is requiring users to grant permission for an app to track them across apps and websites owned by third parties.

While the feature was delayed to give developers and advertisers more time to prepare, it has started to appear in betas for iOS 14.4, which means it could be included in a public-facing update in January or February.

Giving the option to opt-in or out of tracking to users on a per-app basis increases the chances the user will decline it, stopping the app and its third-party partners from tracking the user with the IDFA. In the Bumble IPO, CNBC reports the dating service believes it has poor prospects in using IDFA at all.

Bumble anticipates that the number of users that will agree to the opt-in tracking will be between 0% and 20%, with the vast majority opting out. To Bumble, this would make it harder for advertisers to "accurately target and measure their advertising campaigns at the user level," and could cause some apps to experience an "increased cost per registration."

For the entire year of 2019, Bumble had advertising expenses of $130.4 million. If the cost per registration increases as expected, this could increase the app's annual marketing cost, or at the same value, reduce its effectiveness by bringing in fewer new users.

The change also applies to Bumble's revenue, though at a lower level of impact. The bulk of its revenue is from subscriptions and in-app purchases, but some is also earned from advertising within the app.

While Bumble admits it has other methods to track users, such as those who link their Facebook profiles to their account, there's no guarantee that alternative ways to track a user will be available.

The IPO also mentions Apple about other fairly standard concerns, such as if it changed terms relating to the App Store, outages, and fees for payments.

Bumble is the latest company to anticipate problems with Apple following the introduction of its new iOS privacy features.

Apple's biggest critic on the matter is Facebook, which launched a full campaign against the feature, but ultimately admitted it had "no choice" but to comply with the change. Previously, Facebook estimated it would see a drop in advertising revenue of up to 60% once the change is implemented.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,005member
    How Bumble manages to lose $100 million a year on an app is anyone's guess, but being able to track people appears to be the least of their problems. 
    pulseimagessuperklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    Too bad. You shouldn't have built the business on an invasion of privacy platform.

    Not one iota of empathy or concern for them or their investors and the bankers and brokers doing their IPO.

    I have plenty of issues with Apple, but this is not one of them. On this matter Apples gets an 11 out of 10.

    Zuckerberg should rot in hell for what he has done to all of us and our country. It is only appropriate he and those like him suffer significant economic consequences.
    DogpersonGG1socalbrianpulseimagesbeowulfschmidtcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    If you can't attract people to your app/platform/whatever without advertising based upon the exploitation of private information, then you might just have a shitty digital marketing team.
    elijahglolliverpulseimagesbikerdudewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Tough noogies for Bumble.  If Apple's privacy policies might hurt them that bad, they don't have to file the IPO.  But they will file and get plenty of revenue from Android OS users.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 18
    flydog said:
    How Bumble manages to lose $100 million a year on an app is anyone's guess, but being able to track people appears to be the least of their problems. 
    No, it is not "anyone's guess." It is extremely easy and quite understandable when you are building a national/international business, especially one that is essentially a marketing operation with no hard product. I am surprised you don't seem to understand startup costs, expansion costs and marketing costs how that can drive losses for young growth operation. That's the message your remarks sends.

    I could be wrong, but I can not find anywhere in the article where it says Bumble lost $100 MM. The reason I can't find it is because it doesn't say that and they didn't lose $100 MM. It doesn't mention any amount of financial losses.

    From what I read, the article is about the effects Apple's new privacy policies could have on their business prospects moving forward.




    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    p-dogp-dog Posts: 100member
    Bungle, please kindly f#[email protected] off!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 18
    gc_ukgc_uk Posts: 110member
    flydog said:
    How Bumble manages to lose $100 million a year on an app is anyone's guess, but being able to track people appears to be the least of their problems. 
    Don’t know, have you seen how much one kid made on YouTube just opening boxes of toys?
    Dogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    p-dog said:
    Bungle, please kindly f#[email protected] off!
    What's wrong? Someone Bumble dumped you?
  • Reply 9 of 18
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,115member
    I for one, would be very enthusiastic about tracking in a dating app. Not.
    superklotonbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    Someone creates a dating app that readily admits it violates users' privacy, and people download it in droves!?

    I can't figure out who's the bigger moron here...
    mac_dogmike54EsquireCatslkruppGG1socalbrianmuthuk_vanalingamsuperklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 308member
    tommikele said:
    flydog said:
    How Bumble manages to lose $100 million a year on an app is anyone's guess, but being able to track people appears to be the least of their problems. 
    No, it is not "anyone's guess." It is extremely easy and quite understandable when you are building a national/international business, especially one that is essentially a marketing operation with no hard product. I am surprised you don't seem to understand startup costs, expansion costs and marketing costs how that can drive losses for young growth operation. That's the message your remarks sends.

    I could be wrong, but I can not find anywhere in the article where it says Bumble lost $100 MM. The reason I can't find it is because it doesn't say that and they didn't lose $100 MM. It doesn't mention any amount of financial losses.

    From what I read, the article is about the effects Apple's new privacy policies could have on their business prospects moving forward.
    The $116 million loss is not mentioned in the article, but, unsurprisingly, it is mentioned in the IPO filing.
    Rayz2016EsquireCatsGG1socalbrianpulseimagessuperklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 18
    rcfarcfa Posts: 1,078member
    They should go full-on bankrupt.

    They present themselves as add-free and rather expensive pay-as-you-go dating service.
    To charge, and to then on top of it track, spy on, and exploit users private data, is beyond reprehensible.
    If it were a “free” service, that would be expected...
    superkloton
  • Reply 13 of 18
    adybadyb Posts: 199member

    To Bumble, this would make it harder for advertisers to "accurately target and measure their advertising campaigns at the user level,"

    I can tell advertisers that their online campaigns always result in zero clicks from me - does that help with the targeting and measuring??
    edited January 17 bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,471member
    This presents a conundrum for the government. They pass laws in an effort to protect their citizen’s privacy yet want to break up a company like Apple. As for Apple’s new policy it’s obvious that it will be very effective because businesses that rely on collecting consumer data are screaming bloody murder about it. They want opt-out instead of opt-in because they know the typical user doesn’t pay attention to stuff like that.
    qwerty52superklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    The best thing about Apple's Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is, that even before its introduction, has already shown us the companies which 
    are mostly spying on the users.
    As loudly a company is crying and criticizing Apple, as more this company admits that it was spying on us.....(Facebook is only an example for such company)
    superklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    I can see how Bumble lost $100 Million dollars in a pandemic. Who wants to pay money for something they can’t use? Even though some people are dating during Covid most are not. Bumble even became more of a rip-off recently by doubling their fee. Forcing the user to pay $32.99 a month if they want to see who liked them where before it was only $14.99 a month. 

    I personally can’t wait till Apple implements the new privacy features. I’m tired of receiving emails from vendors like LL Bean if I want to buy the item I only viewed on their websites. 
    edited January 17 superklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    The complaint is about “we can spy on users, we target them effectively with ads and won’t be making as much money as we’re making now.” Ads revenue worked when news were printed and individual readers were not tracked. 

    They can still make money without targeted ads. They just gotten fat on illicitly spying on users and wants to keep doing it. 
    superklotonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 18
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,392member
    Look, this isn't complicated: if your business model depends on surreptitiously-collected private data through stalking users across websites, then your business does not need to exist and should not survive. You never obtained permission from the user for the level of data-mining you are doing, so you're not a viable business.

    How web-stalking got to be a viable business model for anything in the free world is quite beyond me, but it should be made flatly illegal -- same as personal stalking.
    GG1qwerty52muthuk_vanalingamsuperklotonwatto_cobra
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