While there were many developers, publishers and advertisers who raised disgruntled voices when Apple announced its new iOS application tracking transparency policy, Facebook was the one that screamed the loudest. He used rhetoric and other strategies to tarnish Apple’s privacy efforts, even going so far as to say that it will actually benefit the social networking giant in the long run. Now, it is taking these efforts to a new level, warning users that Facebook and Instagram can become paid services if iOS users do not enable app tracking.
Apple has made it clear many times that it is not against advertising itself, just that it wants users to have complete control over it. Apps can even avoid using Apple’s ID For Advertisers (IDFA), which causes the first-run permission to appear, but they can’t use it to track users in other apps and similar actions. The main problem with Facebook is that most users will likely use “No” as a default and will cause advertisers and advertising platforms to lose a lot of money.
Users may not care too much about advertisers, even if they no longer receive personalized targeted ads, but Facebook is now making them care. The Verge noted notices on the iOS apps on Facebook and Instagram, calling attention to how the company uses app tracking information not only for ads, but also to support companies that depend on ads. This is not new to people’s ears now, but what is new is a scary tactic that Facebook is using to get users to turn it on.
Both apps openly say that this user tracking business keeps Facebook and Instagram free. This suggests that if this situation on iOS persists, it may be forced to make these applications or services not free, which could mean a paid subscription system.
Facebook is probably confident that its dominance over users is so strong that even iPhone owners will be disturbed by any changes to free social networking services. That said, the company is already considering having an ad-free subscription option for Facebook, so that may not be exactly news, only that it will now try to use its own monopoly to probably force Apple to back down on its new policy.