Full-page Facebook ad accuses Apple of changing the internet for the worse [Updated]

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Facebook isn't endearing itself to Apple right now.
Photo: Brett Jordan/Unsplash

Facebook has launched its second, blistering full-page ad against Apple, one day after it took it to task in The New York Times and elsewhere for allegedly hurting small businesses.

The new ad, which will appear in today’s papers, is titled “Apple vs. the free internet.” Here’s what it says:

“Apple plans to roll out a forced software update that will change the internet as we know it — for the worse.

Take your favorite cooking sites or sports blogs. Most are free because they show advertisements.

Apple’s change will limit their ability to run personalized ads. To make ends meet, many will have to start charging you subscription fees or adding more in-app purchases, making the internet much more expensive and reducing high-quality free content.

Beyond hurting apps and websites, many in the small business community say this change will be devastating for them too, at a time when they face enormous challenges. They need to be able to effectively reach the people most interested in their products and services to grow.

[44%] of small to medium businesses started or increased their usage of personalized ads on social media during the pandemic, according to a new Deloitte study. Without personalized ads, Facebook data shows that the average small business advertiser stands to see a cut of over 60% in their sales for every dollar they spend.

Small businesses deserve to be heard. We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses, customers and our communities.”

The ad ends by pointing readers to fb.com/ApplePolicyUpdate.

Facebook vs. Apple

Facebook going all scorched earth on Apple is, in some ways, inevitable. For the past few years, relations between the two companies seem to have soured. But this isn’t just about Apple and Facebook. It’s about a business model of monetizing user data for targeted advertising that many, many large tech companies rely on.

As the saying goes, “data is the new oil” and the likes of Facebook and Google are the oil barons. Apple, for its part, doesn’t like the business model. As Tim Cook has said before, if customers aren’t paying for a product chances are they are the product.

That makes this a much bigger philosophical divide than, say, the Qualcomm vs. Apple battle. In that case, settling the fight just meant agreeing a monetary figure. Here it’s about what makes Apple and Facebook money as businesses. What has enraged Facebook are new Apple privacy measures that will help users opt-out of personalized ads in the form of tracking.

Along with publishing a full-page anti-Apple ad for two days in a row this week, Facebook has also said it is supporting Epic Games in its lawsuit against the Cupertino tech giant.

Update: Apple has responded to Facebook’s message with the statement: “We believe that this is a simple matter of standing up for our users. Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not. App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires they give users a choice.”

Via: The Verge