Facebook: Targeted ads good, Apple privacy bad

From Bloomberg’s “Facebook Attacks Apple’s IOS Changes in Full-Page Newspaper Ads” posted Wednesday:

Facebook attacked Apple in a series of full-page newspaper ads Wednesday, claiming the iPhone maker’s anticipated mobile software changes around data gathering and targeted advertising are bad for small businesses.

The ads, slated to run in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, carry the headline “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.” They home in on upcoming changes to Apple’s iOS 14 operating system that will curb the ability of companies like Facebook to gather data about mobile users and ply them with advertising.

Facebook previously told investors that Apple’s changes, scheduled to go live early next year, will lead to significant headwinds because most of its advertisers are small businesses. Apple has pushed back, accusing Facebook in November of showing a “disregard for user privacy.”

My take: Has Facebook’s business model finally become too big to fail?

18 Comments

  1. David Emery said:
    Ah, The Big Lie in action!

    How long before FB starts pushing that Big Lie into everyone’s feed? Probably tomorrow…

    What are the chances of bi-partisan action on the consumer surveillance industry? This might be one thing that both sides could agree on, as long as they can resist the campaign contributions from FB and the other Big Surveillance companies (including Google.)

    5
    December 16, 2020
  2. Ralph McDarmont said:
    I spend way too much time on Facebook. It is kinda satanic but I log on anyway.. it is a tool to communicate. As for Zuck’s obsessive fear of Apple, give me a break. Zuck should look in the mirror to see excess and monopoly,

    6
    December 16, 2020
    • Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
      You little devil, you!
      😉

      2
      December 16, 2020
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    There is discussion on the business news channels this morning that the timing of this Facebook Apple attack is to distract from the state AGs anti-trust suits filed against Facebook. There may be some merit to that assertion.

    Other discussions by small business advocacy group representatives supporting Facebook say that indeed, Facebook targeting advertising is the “only” method for a small business to compete nationally with a large enterprise, say GM, that can advertise nationally pushing their brands. That argument seems to have some merit, too. Of course, for Facebook to make that argument is self-aggrandizement.

    If I am selling a special type of kayak in my small business in Cut-Off Louisiana, then Facebook does give me a special forum to advertise globally so that I can compete with all the big boys selling kayaks. Makes sense. Concomitantly, if I am being targeted by advertisements I do not care to receive then I also should have the option of bailing-out. My understanding is that Apple plans to give its users a choice to bail-out of targeted advertising. So, how is this anti-competitive or bad for small businesses if the end-user (consumer) decides if he or she wants to be or not be targeted specifically for advertisements? Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t Apple plan to give its users’ such an option?

    7
    December 16, 2020
    • David Emery said:
      It would be good to see more data from the perspective of your small kayak company. I’d think that just showing up in a web search for “kayak” would be a lot more effective!

      Me, any time an ad pops up in my FB feed, I immediately mark it “irrelevant”, hide all ads from that vendor, and place a black mark against them in my mind. YMMV.

      3
      December 16, 2020
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      @ Jerry Doyle —

      You are not wrong. You are correct. Apple simply makes you aware and easily provides a method to block.

      So…Facebook and Mr. Zuckerburg; are you worried most people will “opt out” in some vague (or possibly crystal-clear) fear of your company’s “people-as-prey” methods or are you praying that most people simply don’t care?

      Everyone can carry a guess.

      No one knows.

      1
      December 16, 2020
  4. John Konopka said:
    FB has a lot of gall to try to spin their activities as good for society.

    It is like the local hoodlums running ads against the city putting in street lights because it would be bad for “business” to let the citizens have some protection.

    For the record, I’ve never used FB, never will.

    7
    December 16, 2020
    • Adam Foster said:
      “For the record, I’ve never used FB, never will.”
      Ditto on that!

      0
      December 16, 2020
  5. Gregg Thurman said:
    Has anybody tried Apple’s new “tracker” button? It reveals how many (and who) is tracking you across the internet. On The History Channel, I found that 43 firms were tracking me as I surfed the net.

    Apple.com didn’t notify any trackers of my activity, Apple 3.0 notified 3 trackers. Techinvestornews.com notified 13 trackers of my activity. Nasdaq.com notified 34 trackers. Tradingeconomics.com notified 7 trackers. Finviz.com notified 30 trackers.

    Surprisingly (or maybe not) Facebook only notified 3 trackers (keeping that info to themselves?). Google only notified 1 tracker.

    Google was a tracker on every site I checked, excepting Apple, online banking, and brokerages

    Giving the user the ability to opt out of tracking is going to hurt Google and Facebook far more than the little guy.

    5
    December 16, 2020
  6. Peter Kropf said:
    FaceBook’s Z has to reckon with the real havoc he complicitly created by his commitment to growth and revenue at any cost.

    In Myanamar, the generals used it to foment genocide.

    In the West, it’s been used to radicalize people to attack with murderous intent.

    2
    December 16, 2020
  7. Michael Goldfeder said:
    People in glass house shouldn’t be throwing stones. Facebook and Cambridge Analytics will alway be inextricably linked on how that social media platform handles privacy and consumer personal data. Nice try Mark!

    3
    December 16, 2020
  8. Bart Yee said:
    Any potential that these discussions by “small business advocacy group representatives supporting Facebook” are nothing more than Facebook shills, lobbyists, or a preplanned campaign (a la Epic) to amplify Facebook’s message from the seeming “little guy”?

    I mean Facebook couldn’t possibly have learned a thing or 58 from having seen assertions thrown around that it’s just not them but everyone else who will get hurt if this decision goes through? No Facebook, similarly, it’s all about YOU, and by extension, Zuckerberg, perhaps yet another narcissistic personality who can’t possibly believe his business model is bad for everyone else, right? Didn’t all those marks, er, users willingly sign up to give us all their data, habits, and tracking which we’ll gladly sell off (out) to multiple high bidders?

    3
    December 16, 2020
  9. Tommo_UK said:
    There’s an expression for this, Zuckerberg…. don’t “p*ss into the wind.” It’s liable to hit you in the face. Meanwhile old print media is happy to get some cash from social media. Now if only you’d pay them for your newsfeeds instead of holding them captive, like your users, maybe you could form an unholy alliance?

    0
    December 16, 2020
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      The print media destroyed their businesses by charging as much as, or more, for digital copies of their content, just as the music industry did with $20 DVDs vs 99 cent single downloads.

      The savings of not paying for print copy and the distribution thereof, coupled with the same ads as found in their printed materials, justifies a $2/month subscription.

      The movie industry is going through the same learning curve. Apple is spending an estimated $8 Billion per year on content, yet Apple One is profitable at about $9/consumer/month. Those like Disney, with extensive OWNED libraries, are doing even better.

      One trick ponies like Netflix and Spotify will be OK in the near term, but long term they’re going to be strangled by those with multiple ponies that can be aggregated.

      1
      December 16, 2020
  10. Tommo_UK said:
    Bloomberg: “Texas claims Facebook and Google conspired secretly and illegally to manipulate advertising prices.”

    Facebook and Google: “Standing up for our right to rip off small businesses.”

    Break them up, break them up, break them up.

    0
    December 16, 2020

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