Facebook launches new ad campaign to convince iPhone users to turn on ad tracking

Various data is used by companies like Facebook to personalize advertisements to an individual person based on demographics, location, interests, and activity. Late last year, Apple introduced its new privacy-focused changes that required all app developers to explicitly ask users for permission to collect this data. Facebook was not happy (and still is not happy) about this.

In addition to preparing for a lawsuit to accuse Apple of anti-competitive behavior, Facebook is launching a new advertising campaign aimed at helping small businesses through tough times. A video ad aired Thursday with the slogan "Good ideas deserve to be found."

You see, prior to iOS 14.5, any app (not just Facebook or Instagram) could collect data from its users as long as the users agreed to the terms of the app or service. Apple decided that was no longer enough if it wanted to protect the privacy of iPhone users, so the update forced all apps to ask the user if they would allow the app to collect this valuable data.

Going back to the video ad, comments are turned off for the video and there are a lot more dislikes than likes. Facebook's apparent intention to help small businesses is clearly a call for its users to allow Facebook to continue to follow them for targeted ads. The video features a lot more Facebook and Instagram users finding things to follow and buy than small businesses. Here is the description of the video:

The world is full of great ideas. Now, with personalized ads, small businesses can find theirs. Good ideas deserve to be found.

The wording in this video's description seems to suggest that personalized ads are new. Facebook was already tracking its users before this update, and it still tracks users who haven't explicitly turned off activity tracking for personalized ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook launches new ad campaign to convince iPhone users to turn on ad tracking

The campaign is not any in bad faith, however. Facebook is waiving fees for businesses selling products with Checkout on Shops until June 2021, and will not collect fees for paid online events until August, either. It adds a way to find restaurants in the "Business Nearby" screens, and it is easier for restaurants to add their menus to their Facebook pages. While these gestures can help businesses cover some advertising costs, they still help Facebook's bottom line.

The new blog post links to a page from June 2020 that explains how personalized ads work, but it's sort of generalized and doesn't exactly delve into the information the app collects.


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