In a Clubhouse session on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 privacy update, noting that his social media company will not only be able to manage through the changes but that it could also benefit from them as businesses on the platform would be increasingly locked into its own ecosystem of advertising and commerce offerings.
Facebook has openly opposed and criticized Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature that is expected to fully roll out for iOS this spring. The privacy control will essentially put iPhone users in charge of whether they want to be tracked by apps for third-party advertising.
The two companies have been trading blows over this issue during the past few months, with Facebook even threatening a lawsuit to accuse Apple of abusing its dominant position in the name of privacy. Now, however, it appears that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has become accepting of the change, noting that Facebook “will be able to manage through” Apple’s anti-tracking measures.
The platform could even benefit from these changes, according to Zuckerberg, as Apple’s stance against cross-app tracking would mean that brands and companies using Facebook-owned platforms won’t be able to track users on other apps (and vice versa) to expand their audience.
“It’s possible that we may even be in a stronger position if Apple’s changes encourage more businesses to conduct more commerce on our platforms by making it harder for them to use their data in order to find the customers that would want to use their products outside of our platforms,” says Zuckerberg.
While it sounds like a way of saying the glass is half full, Facebook has been building and maturing commerce features inside apps like Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops to prepare for Apple’s incoming privacy changes and keep users engaged in its ecosystem. It could also do a bit more to address the shady ad practices if it wants small businesses to actually thrive on its platforms.