Give us your data to keep Instagram free says Facebook

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While Apple has tried to make iOS 14.5 more secure from a personal data perspective, Facebook hopes you will undo that good work by giving it access to that data.

As a refresher, iOS 14.5 gives users the ability to stop apps from tracking their digital activity across apps and websites. This is particularly important for apps such as Facebook as it means it will no longer be able to tell advertisers that Jimmy likes visiting anime fan sites, because it no longer has access to this data.

Of course, users can opt to share this data with app developers, something Facebook is pushing hard.

Last week Facebook began pushing out “educational cards” which don’t really explain why the iOS 14.5 update is good for the user. Instead, these cards implore you to give Facebook permission to access data so that you can:

  • See ads that are more personalised
  • Support small businesses that rely on ads to reach customers
  • Help keep Instagram and Facebook free
The educational screen iOS users will see when accessing Facebook products.

Each of those reasons affects Facebook directly. Personalised ads are what makes Facebook such a powerhouse when it comes to advertising. Never in humanity’s history have advertisers been able to target specific ads to people in the way Facebook has been able to make possible.

Helping small businesses is a noble cause but what about the small businesses that provided advertising and marketing services to small business that aren’t needed now that Facebook exists? Facebook’s advertising rates are low and compared to other publications and platforms as few can compete.

As for keeping Facebook’s services free, would Facebook ever charge for access to the platform?

While it is an idea that has been mentioned once or twice, we don’t see Facebook shifting from an advertising model which generated $84 billion in 2020 to a subscription model where some users will simply choose not to pay.

This is not to say there won’t ever be a subscription model, however, Facebook is not going to switch overnight and risk killing the biggest income generator it has.

While Facebook has been outspoken about Apple’s privacy measures in iOS 14.5, it seems when it comes to brass tax, the best move Zuckerberg et al have is making threats about it’s products no longer being free.

Just remember Facebook, once you start charging a subscription, folks aren’t going to want to see advertising. It’s one or the other in this game.

[Via – The Verge]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.