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Facebook and Apple are going to war. This decade-long feud continues over Apple's new privacy update to prevent tracking. Whose side are you on?

Facebook vs. Apple: Learn about the new Silicon Valley feud

Facebook and Apple don’t seem like natural rivals at first glance. One specializes in social media while the other focuses on hardware like phones and computers. However, the companies are two of the biggest tech companies in the world, and they’ve butted heads before.

Facebook has now taken personal offense over an impending iOS update coming to Apple iPhones. Here’s what you need to know about the new fight brewing in Silicon Valley.

iOS update

The update coming to Apple phones will sound great to most people – right now websites and apps can essentially track you anywhere on the web and everything you do, and you won’t even know. (These trackers are called cookies.)

However, Apple wants to put a damper on companies tracking people without their permission. The new iOS update will change things so that iPhone owners will have to opt-in for tracking. Most of the time cookie tracking allows companies to build detailed profiles on internet users, which is often utilized to create eerily accurate targeted ads, and is occasionally sold to other companies.

Many people may not bother to read what the pop-up is all about and will click “accept” without another thought, but this gives users the potential ability to take back a little bit of their privacy by denying sites & apps access if they so choose. (You can still use a site without accepting cookies.)

Facebook’s outrage

Facebook immediately took up arms against Apple. While Facebook is one of the companies most well-known for tracking users even when they’re not using Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp (which is already a slew of potential information), they didn’t berate Apple in their own name.

Instead, Facebook said it was advocating for “small businesses”. A move that sounds magnanimous only at the most cursory glance. Even many Facebook employees were seemingly uncomfortable with campaigning against Apple in this way saying it was a very transparent guise.

One employee even reportedly said in response to the new campaign, “Aren’t we worried that our stance protecting [small- and medium-sized businesses] will backfire as people see it as ‘FB protecting their own business’ instead?”

What’s really going on

Facebook makes a lot of money from running ads on their website. If you’re a proud user of ad-block then it might be easy to forget just how riddled the platform is with advertisements. So let us give you a quick run-down.

It’s expected that Facebook will bring in a whopping $80 billion, yes with ‘b’, from ad sales alone. Currently, Facebook is boasting the highest number of advertisers on their site than they’ve ever had. In the second half of 2020 Facebook has reportedly had 12.6 million active advertisers on the site. They say there’s a person out there for everyone, but apparently Facebook also believes there’s an advertisement out there for everyone.

However, Facebook is also one of the kings of targeted ads. If a large portion of Apple users suddenly opt-out of being tracked by the site Facebook’s ability to create carefully curated ads will be impeded.

As far as small business goes

Facebook told its employees that they’re a massive company, so the Apple update won’t hurt them in the long run, but that small businesses could be hurt by the inability to target people efficiently.

But if Facebook is so worried about small business owners and their well being, why is it that small business advertisers have been publicly complaining that Facebook doesn’t care about them?

Complaints have ranged from accusations that Facebook doesn’t provide the proper customer support needed to the claim they allow scam ads to run on the site, which frequently purports to sell discounted counterfeit items of the products their small business are selling legitimately.

Facebook for Business page

Facebook has set up a website called Facebook for Business which launches accusations against Apple regarding the upcoming iOS update, as well as featuring small business owners advocating against the update.

It also offers the ability to add your own thoughts, spread the word, and advice on how to encourage others to rally against Apple’s impending update.

What do you think? Is Facebook looking out for the little guy or are they using small businesses as an excuse to protect their ability to track users? Let us know in the comments below!

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