In the wake of Apple’s iCloud security issues, CEO Tim Cook released a statement that said, in part, “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” In an interview with Time magazine, Facebook’s boss, Mark Zuckerberg, has a retort for that. With Facebook ramping up their own ad network, Zuck has taken offense to Cook’s comments, and challenges that Apple is who’s really out of touch with consumers. His proof? Your expensive iPhone.
“A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers” Zuckerberg quipped, before delivering this gut-shot to Apple:
What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!
Cook was likely making reference to Google’s Search more than Facebook’s ads, but Zuckerberg didn’t let it slide.
The reason Zuckerberg took such offense to Cook’s commentary? Facebook, through its internet.org initiative, is trying to connect the world, not just the privileged few. “Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don’t do that by having a service people pay for”, he said.
Zuckerberg might have taken offense to nothing, but he’s made his point. As we pointed out in their earnings, ads are Facebook’s new golden goose, and connecting the world is a passion they’ll fund with it. Cook, whether he meant to or not, poked a social hornet’s nest.
Pun intended, Mark.