For the first time in its history, Facebook and Instagram threaten to be paid. No, it’s not a joke. The company that Mark Zuckerberg runs has issued this warning to users who have installed and are using iOS 14.5, the latest version of the iPhone operating system. The reason? This software blocks data tracking which is the main source of income for the social network.
Facebook continues its campaign against Apple’s privacy updates in iOS 14, by adding a notice within your iOS app telling users that the information you collect from other apps and websites may “help keep Facebook free of payments” A similar message has been seen on Instagram’s iOS app (Facebook is the parent company of Instagram).
Tech researcher Ashkan Soltani first noticed the new pop-up notices on Saturday (see his tweet below), but a Facebook spokesperson directed The Verge to a blog post from early last week detailing the update. LThe company refers to the ads as “educational displays,” and said they provided “more details on how we use the data for personalized ads.”, according to blog post by Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president for ads and business products.
“This version of iOS requires us to ask permission to track some data from these devices to improve their ads. Learn how we limit the use of this information if you do not activate this device configuration, “the notice reads.” We use information about your activity received from other applications and websites to: show you more personalized ads, help keep Facebook free [y] support companies that depend on ads to reach their customers. “
New inclusion requirements in the latest versions of iOS 14, including iOS 14.5, require developers to obtain the express consent of device owners to allow their Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) is shared and collected in applications. According to Apple’s new policy, application developers can continue to use other information that a user provides for targeted advertising, even if the user chooses not to let the app track him, but that information cannot be shared with another company for ad tracking.
If the developers try to circumvent the inclusion requirement, or try to replace the IDFA with some other identifying information, such as an email address, se will consider that application violates the inclusion requirement. The rules also apply to Apple’s own applications.
Facebook has harshly criticized Apple’s privacy updates for iOS 14, arguing that privacy changes could hurt small businesses. They depend on the Facebook ad network to reach their customers. In statements to the press and in newspaper announcements, Facebook has said that Apple is fostering new business models for applications so that they depend less on advertising and more on subscriptions, potentially giving Apple a cut.
But the tactic of “Keep Facebook / Instagram free” seems to go against the lifelong Facebook slogan that the company was “free and always will be.” Of course, Facebook quietly removed that slogan from its home page in 2019, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg did not rule out a paid version of Facebook when he testified before Congress in 2018. “There will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” he said .
Zuckerberg referred to Apple during Facebook’s investor call in January, referring to the company Steve Jobs founded as one of his company’s biggest competitors. “Apple has every incentive to use its dominant platform position to interfere with the operation of our applications and other applications, which it regularly does to prefer its own “, Zuckerberg said. “This impacts the growth of millions of companies around the world, even with the upcoming changes to iOS 14.”