Why is Facebook Angry at Apple?

The rivalry between Facebook and Apple has reached a new climax in advance of Apple’s upcoming software update, which will give users more control over their data. Facebook is opposed to the change, which could undermine their sprawling digital marketing services.

What will the software update change? The update will require app developers to attain users’ explicit permission to track and share their data. In practice, when a user logs onto Facebook for the first time since the update, they will see a pop-up informing them that their data is about to be collected. They will then be allowed to opt out.

Why is Facebook unhappy? The change could hurt Facebook’s social media marketing business, as well as the ads offerings of companies like Google, Snapchat, and others.

What is Facebook saying? It’s obvious that Facebook’s first concern is for their bottom line, but their public messaging has focused on small businesses. Without being able to collect user data, the company says, SMBs will be less able to reach valuable customers on the platform. Late last year, the company took out full page ads in prominent newspapers saying it was “standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere,” according to Bloomberg.

What is Apple’s motive? According to CEO Tim Cook, the update is meant to keep Apple users safe and informed. He has also framed the move as a rebuke to businesses that surreptitiously collect data.

“If a business is built on misleading users, on data exploitation, on choices that are not choices at all, then it doesn’t deserve our praise, it deserves reform,” he said at the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference in January.

How will this change my business? While the potential damages to Facebook and Google could be significant, the implications for ordinary businesses are less profound. Your advertising dollars are the lifeblood of Facebook’s success; the notion that they will no longer be able or willing to provide digital marketing services is laughable.

GrowthEngine Media is a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with deep experience in search, social, and other forms of online advertising. If you have questions about your digital or social media marketing strategies, contact us today.


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