Facebook Tests Showing App Tracking Pop-up on iPhone to Deliver Better ‘Ads Experience’

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 1 Feb 2021

facebook ad tracking prompt

Facebook is in a battle with Apple over iOS 14’s app tracking transparency. Facebook says the feature if implemented, could cause damage to the whole advertising industry’s revenue and how it would change the internet for the worse. Today, Facebook has started to roll out additional prompts on iPhone, asking users for their permission to track app usage.

iOS 14 introduced App Tracking Transparency (ATT) which gives users an option to allow developers to track an app’s usage. Currently, by knowing how you use an app, advertisers, like Facebook, can target specific ads to show up on the app. Personalized ads mean users are expected to click more often on them leading to higher conversion rates.

If a user selects ‘Allow Tracking,’ the app will continue in the same way. But, if a user selects ‘Ask app not to track’, Apple will block the developer from accessing the user’s advertising identifier. App Tracking Transparency is due to come into force this Spring.

Facebook’s approach on iPhone is a bit different though. Instead of just asking user’s for his/her permission to track, the company will show an additional prompt before showing Apple’s app tracking pop-up. This ‘additional prompt’ will educate the user on how Facebook currently tracks app usage on iPhone, and how allowing it to track won’t give Facebook ‘access to new types of information.’

The company, on its blog post, wrote:

“As we shared in December, we disagree with Apple’s approach, but will be showing their prompt to ensure stability for the businesses and people who use our services. Apple’s new prompt suggests there is a tradeoff between personalized advertising and privacy; when in fact, we can and do provide both. The Apple prompt also provides no context about the benefits of personalized ads.

To help people make a more informed decision, we’re also showing a screen of our own, along with Apple’s. It will provide more information about how we use personalized ads, which support small businesses and keep apps free.”

Facebook has been hitting out at Apple for quite some time now. The social media company, recently, threatened Apple that the company will ‘drag’ it to court over iOS 14’s anti-tracking feature. Recently, the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerburg said that Apple uses its dominant position for its own benefits.

Meanwhile, Google has taken a different approach altogether. The company has planned to change its way of tracking that doesn’t fall under Apple’s ATT guidelines. Read here why Google’s apps won’t show the anti-tracking pop-up on iPhone.

We Want to Hear From You

What’s your take on the Facebook Apple battle? Do you think Apple’s anti-tracking feature is justified? Will it result in making you click fewer ads? Have you seen the anti-tracking pop-up on another app? Do let us know in the comment section below!