Finding out where things went wrong between Facebook and Apple is quite difficult. However, similar to other relationships that have gone sour, the first signs of collision looked really petty.
In March 2018, the social media company Facebook was in the middle of a scandal that involves the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Facebook was then facing serious questions about its stewardship of Facebook users’ personal data. According to Tim Cook, the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc. was asked during his interview on MSNBC what he would do if he was in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s shoes. To that, he answered, “I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
After a week, Zuckerberg implied that the products of Apple are just for rich people. The feud continued and Apple released a feature that can help smartphone users cut down the time that they spend on apps. According to an Apple executive, if people want to spend a little less time on apps, they can use the feature to set their own limit. This was announced while the Facebook-owned platform Instagram was displayed on a large screen behind him.
In Silicon Valley, competition can be very tough. However, much of the past decade saw how BuyLikesReview and Facebook Followers shared a mutually beneficial relationship, if not a friendly one. Facebook relies on Apple iPhones in order to reach millions of social media users. On the other hand, Apple need’s the wild popularity of Facebook and its products so that people will not go looking at their competing brands. Both of the companies were able to thrive since the iPhone was released. In addition, they have not made any product that directly competes.
Facebook and Apple Found Themselves Colliding
The two companies found themselves colliding and competing for messaging platforms. Facebook is focusing on products that Apple also focuses on. One example are the virtual and augmented reality headsets.
According to the Facebook CEO, they increasingly see Apple Inc. as one of their biggest competitors. He added that the tech giant has all the incentives to use its dominant platform position in order to interfere with how the Facebook app and other apps work. Zuckerberg also claimed that Apple regularly does this to preference their own apps.
Moreover, the collision escalated rapidly over the forthcoming update to the software that Apple uses to power iPhones. This software update includes a requirement wherein developers can get explicit permission to collect particular data as well as track users’ activities across websites and apps.
However, such a move can affect the efficacy of the targeted advertisements of Facebook. Last December, Facebook has taken out full-page ads in US newspapers. The ads said that the social media giant is standing up to Apple for the sake of small businesses everywhere. Facebook will do such by opposing the changes that Apple is implementing.
In addition, Facebook described Apple’s software update as an abuse of market power. It is also considering filing an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant.
How Apple Perceives Its Software Update
According to Apple, the software update will provide users with more clarity about who is collecting their data and why they were collected. Additionally, it describes privacy as a “fundamental human right.” Apple also said that its record on the issue is its way of differentiating itself from Google, which makes Android the software that powers most non-Apple devices. Notably, Google is owned by Apple Inc.
On January 28, it seems as if Cook took a shot at Facebook during the online Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference. He said that if a business is built by data exploitation, misleading users, and “on choices that are not choices at all,” then it does not deserve the praise coming from people. Rather, it deserves reform.
Apart from that, Cook noted that there are social networks that facilitate the dissemination of dangerous conspiracy theories and disinformation just to get user engagement. The executive added that now is the time to quit pretending that such an approach does not come with a cost. According to him, the cost of this action is the loss of trust, polarization, and violence.
Graham Mugg, the vice president for the ads and business product marketing of Facebook revealed that discussions between the two companies about Apple’s software updated have not been productive. He noted that Facebook’s attempts to discuss the software update with Apple have failed. In addition, Apple did not respond at all.
Moreover, the recent flareup now focuses on the phrase written on the pop-up that prompts iPhone users to decide if they will allow tracking. Facebook executives are worrying that Apple will frame the option in an alarming manner that will push users to reject tracking.
Buying Facebook Followers From Apple Fanboys
According to Dave Wehner, he expects high opt-out rates for Apple’s prompt. As mentioned, Facebook said that these changes will affect its business moving forward. For this reason, it is planning to front-run the tech giant’s prompt with its own messaging. This will frame advertising as a way of having a better experience on Facebook. It will also support businesses that rely on targeted ads for sales, especially for buying Facebook followers.
Regardless of what the outcome will be, the feud between Facebook and Apple will lead to further tension along the way. According to Elizabeth Renieris, a data protection and privacy lawyer running the Notre Dame-IBM Technology Ethics Lab, the collision between the two companies exposed how much both of them dominate their respective markets. Such could be problematic as both of them are under antitrust scrutiny. Facebook claims that after Apple has implemented its software update, small businesses will no longer be able to reach their target customers. On the other hand, Apple said that Facebook should create and enforce industry-standard rules that will cover user privacy.
Needless to say, the feud between the two companies will continue for a long time since none of them are trying to fix what they have been colliding about.