Facebook: Apple sells to an exclusive club, we're free for everybody

Tim Cook's "chaos factory" remarks got a rise from top Zuckerberg advisor (and former UK deputy prime minister) Nick Clegg.

From Business Insider:

"Facebook is free — it's for everyone," he said. "Some other big tech companies make their money by selling expensive hardware or subscription services, or in some cases both, to consumers in developed, wealthier economies. They are an exclusive club, available only to aspirant consumers with the means to buy high-value hardware and services."

"There's no exclusivity at Facebook. No VIP access. No business class," Clegg added. "Our services are as accessible to students in Guatemala, cattle farmers in the Midwest United States, office workers in Mumbai, tech startups in Nairobi, or taxi drivers in Berlin. More than 2 billion people use our platforms — because they can."

My take: Zuckerberg, through Clegg, is responding to Tim Cook's "If you built a chaos factory, you can't dodge responsibility for the chaos." Like well-disciplined politicians, neither Cook nor Clegg will mention his opponent by name.


  1. David Emery said:
    Let’s be clear who Facebook’s customers are. It’s advertisers and data miners. It’s not the people who use the website. So, as is typical with Facebook, their remarks are dishonest and hypocritical. But that does align with Facebook’s core business model, “Go fast, break things, and lie about it.”

    June 25, 2019
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    What happens to Facebook if/when Apple introduces a cross-platform social media Service that does not collect your personal data for the purpose of selling it to 3rd parties?

    June 25, 2019
    • Dan Scropos said:
      Great point, Gregg. I don’t think it would be Apple branded, but they may offer support, in some capacity, to a competing platform.

      June 25, 2019
      • Gregg Thurman said:
        “Great point, Gregg”

        It was just a fantasy though.

        If it were done it would have to be Apple branded. A lesser known company wouldn’t have the gravitas to lure users, nor the financial resources to support a Service that had no direct revenue streams.

        I think Apple’s new email substitution feature will be a very big deal for those iOS users that subscribe to Facebook and other data collecting sites.

        June 25, 2019
      • David Emery said:
        A “Duck Duck Go” social network?

        June 25, 2019
    • Jamie McDaniel said:
      Today we are renaming the Contacts app “My Network.” And it is your gateway to sharing as much – or as little – as you want with family, friends, coworkers, and the person you just met and, ummm… added last night. It is your private network. People in your network can be in multiple groups and you can share photos, videos, and captions to one or more groups. In turn, they can post a reaction or comment. And you have total control over when to stop sharing and removing anything shared in the past.
      Writing that was easy of course. Actually implementing it is a very hard problem to solve. But I think Apple has a good chance. Our family already uses Apple’s photo sharing with comments and likes. I have one album for immediate family and one for extended.

      June 25, 2019
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Thanks Philip, Jeff, Joseph, David. Facebook investors be warned.

    This response from Facebook, through a surrogate, indicates that they cannot admit their problem of relying on abusing their user’s data to sustain their stock price. No fix till you admit the problem.

    June 25, 2019
  4. Gregg Thurman said:
    “Today we are renaming the Contacts app “My Network”.”

    That makes sense. Content Network vs email Groups.

    June 25, 2019
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    It just occurred to me that Clegg may have actually helped Apple’s hardware sales with his “exclusive club, aspirant consumers, high-value hardware” comment.

    iPhone is an aspirational product, as is MacIntosh, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, etc. I don’t think he has ever heard of the Veldon Effect. This is a phenomenon wherein people engage in conspicuous spending to impress others.

    Who’s going to be impressed by a Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Motorola, et al?

    June 25, 2019
  6. George Row said:
    Clegg joined Facebook after he lost his seat in the UK Parliament.

    He lost his seat after the coalition of which he was deputy leader increased student tuition fees.

    He joined that coalition after campaigning on a platform for the “abolition of student fees”.

    So he is hugely experienced in the role of the duplicitous purveyor of hypocrisy. Hence one can see why Zuckerberg might have found him an attractive candidate for that role. However, at least in the UK where his history is well known, it is not a role that is easy to repeat once the public is aware of your track record and have a measure of your character.
    We can but hope that the users of Facebook are quick to understand his nature and how it reflects that of his current employers.

    June 25, 2019
  7. Gregg Thurman said:
    The Republican jParty of today isn’t the Republican Party of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Six of the 7 Justices that supported Roe v Wade were Republican nominees.

    Since then the Republican Party has been hijacked by conservatives that placed a social agenda ahead of foreign policy and fiscal restraint.

    June 26, 2019
    • David Drinkwater said:
      This is similar to stating that the Democratic Party created the zzz. While factually correct, it in no way resembles the party people that are in existence today. All the labels are the same, but all the people have rolled over, rotated, and changed direction.

      June 27, 2019

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