Facebook now says it will benefit from Apple’s privacy changes

JC Torres - Mar 19, 2021, 12:16am CDT
Facebook now says it will benefit from Apple’s privacy changes

For the past few months, Facebook has been stepping up its rhetoric in painting Apple as the enemy of the Internet and the free market. This mostly revolves around the iPhone maker’s App Tracking Transparency or ATT that will be drastically changing the ways advertisers and advertising platforms work on iOS. It seems, however, that Facebook is now changing its strategy and saying that it might actually profit from this but only because Apple will be forcing vendors to all flock to Facebook’s platforms instead.

Apple’s ATT pretty much mirrors the current trend among web browsers these days to block or disable cross-site tracking cookies and turning this protection on by default. On iOS, the implementation means that users will have to explicitly opt into tracking activity through first-use prompts or by diving into the platform’s settings.

Facebook’s main gripe is that this will drastically reduce the effectiveness of advertising platforms and strategies because users are most likely to keep tracking turned off. This, in turn, would result in lower revenues for both Facebook and its advertising customers, potentially causing many of the smaller businesses to lose critical profits they sorely need these days.

Speaking at a Clubhouse chat, CEO Mark Zuckerberg changed the company’s message but as a not-so-subtle jab at Apple. He is now saying that Facebook might actually be in a stronger position due to the ATT because more businesses will conduct their e-commerce activities on Facebook’s and Instagram’s platform since Apple will practically be locking user data in its own platform.

It remains to be seen if this will run afoul of Apple’s well-known policy about apps and services doing business on iOS, especially the requirement to only use its payment systems and taking a cut of the revenue. Needless to say, Facebook is now trying to turn the tables on Apple and painting what it once insisted was a great loss into something that could be a controversial gain in the end.

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