The war is beginning…we saw it coming.
A couple of years ago I started to see the signs. The GDPR was put into place. Trackers were something that people were frowning down upon. And then Russia…that damn Russia abuse of Facebook, or that’s what they said. They didn’t actually do anything that was outside of Facebook’s rules – and that my friends, is exactly the problem.
To be clear. I have a solid love/hate relationship with Facebook. I can go through the pros and cons with the best of them. But this isn’t about that. What this is about is that there is now a clear difference between two heavy hitters in the tech industry.
One prioritizes your privacy and therefore, you as a CUSTOMER.
One prioritizes your data and therefore, you as a creator or PRODUCT.
Free is NOT really Free.
Facebook works on a simple model. It allows people to use the platform for “free” and connect with all of their friends and family, businesses they love, and many other resources, groups, etc. It is an excellent tool for reaching out and connecting with others. It truly has some wonderful benefits.
But while we like to pretend it’s FREE…it’s not. It comes with a cost, and that cost is your data. From a marketer’s point of view, this is AMAZING. We can target exactly who we want and deliver them exactly what they want, or we think they want, and it makes everything very cost-effective.
This is why marketers ruin everything…as a whole, the industry mainly focuses on how to deliver the best result for their client. Not necessarily the best options for the consumers.
No one was really worried about why or how we received the targeting information from Facebook until Apple was. Until Facebook decided to go to war with Apple.
Apple has a reputation that may be scarred in some areas, but its consumers are LOYAL. They have created raving fans all over the world and their goal is to protect them at all costs. Yes, it may be about the bottom line, (everyone wants a thriving business) but they understand that their customers care about privacy and they are focusing on delivering it to them. It really is that simple. Apple cares about the desires of its customers. Facebook cares about its marketers because that is their main source of revenue.
Now, what EXACTLY is happening that has begun this war?
Apple has decided that with the new iOS update for Spring 2021 (or late Q1) that there will be a prompt delivered to those using their devices that will allow someone to opt-out of tracking on Facebook, Instagram, and every other app that uses data for tracking. A LOT of apps will be affected by this, but Facebook has been the most vocal about how they disagree with Apple and attempted (for a short time) to tell Apple how unhappy they were.
It was almost humorous. The petulant Facebook child telling Apple that what they were doing with their business was wrong and they needed to change their entire customer philosophy. It did not go well for Facebook and Tim Cook of Apple pretty much brushed it off as an annoyance.
The real question – is how will this affect YOU?
As a consumer – you will be able to decide who can track your data. This may result in you getting some weird random ads since marketers won’t be able to determine what you want to see based on your information. It will be similar to going back to pre-data days where you will see ads, but they may have nothing to do with you. Facebook and other apps will try to target, but it will be very difficult. But you won’t be sharing your data with anyone you don’t want to.
As a marketer – your audiences for ads will shrink. The conversion could be better since only those that want to share their info will be targeted for ads. We don’t know the exact repercussions yet – but we do know that change in marketing is inevitable and that you must adapt to these changes.
As a business – you will need to diversify. Facebook and Instagram are working on changing, but if they are this reluctant to do what so many consumers are clamoring for…it’s time to look at other platforms to reach your potential clients/customers. LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Ads, Email, your own website – now is the time to start looking for solutions. And if you haven’t yet, go verify your domain on the Facebook Business Manager.
What are your thoughts on the changes? How is your business adapting? As a consumer are you happy with the changes? Comment below!
Stay safe and healthy my friends.