Facebook Attacks Apple Software Changes in Newspaper Ads

Facebook previously told investors that Apple’s changes, scheduled to go live early next year, will lead to significant headwinds because most of its advertisers are small businesses. Apple has pushed back, accusing Facebook in November of showing a “disregard for user privacy.”

“While limiting how personalized ads can be used does impact larger companies like us, these changes will be devastating to small businesses,” Facebook said.

Ads that disregard personalized targeting generate 60% fewer sales than ads that target consumers, Facebook added, citing its own data. Apple’s new feature at the heart of the issue — App Tracking Transparency — won’t forbid companies like Facebook from collecting targeting data, but will ask them to disclose it and seek user opt-in.

In a conference call and blog post Wednesday, Facebook continued its attack, saying Apple’s business stands to gain from these changes. “Apple is behaving anti-competitively by using their control of the App Store to benefit their bottom line at the expense of creators and small businesses,” said Dan Levy, head of Facebook’s small business program. Facebook was sued earlier this month by state and federal regulators for alleged anticompetitive behavior.

Read more: Apple Defends Delay of Privacy Feature, Slams Facebook

Apple defended its iOS updates, saying it was “standing up” for people who use its devices. “Users should know when their data is being collected and shared across other apps and websites — and they should have the choice to allow that or not,” an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement. “App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 does not require Facebook to change its approach to tracking users and creating targeted advertising, it simply requires they give users a choice.”

The newspaper ads are the latest in what has become a vicious public battle between two of the world’s most valuable companies. Facebook has argued repeatedly that Apple’s App Store fees and the upcoming iOS changes hurt small businesses trying to recover from the pandemic. It’s used those attacks to paint itself as a champion for such users, many of which rely on Facebook’s advertising services to drive…