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Apple takes the lead in the war on internet privacy!

On September 9th, Netflix released the documentary The Social Dilemma. This documentary examined the rise of social networking, and the pros and cons associated with the social media age. One of the big themes was privacy on social media, and the information that platforms have on its users. Coincidentally, less than two weeks later, Apple rolled out its latest update, iOS 14. This update promised customers increased privacy from social media giants like Facebook and Instagram. 


The Social Dilemma uncovered the uncomfortable truth – that social media actually knows a lot about you, and has the potential to influence the way you live your life. The big “oh no” moment of the documentary was the quote, “There are only two industries that refer to their customers as ‘users’, one is social media, the other is illegal drugs.” 


What Does This Mean?

Now, we all know that social media platforms have some data on us, but with the growing concerns over privacy on social media, like what recently happened with TikTok, tech companies are starting to take notice, namely Apple. The tech giant is rolling out a new feature as a part of their latest iOS update that will allow users to opt-out of being tracked by social media platforms. What does this mean exactly? Well, your iPhone will still be able to tell your physical location, but you will now have the opportunity to “hide” your digital footprint. 


It is no secret that social media is free to use – this is because we constantly view ads while scrolling on our feeds. Ads are so common, that we don’t think twice when we begin seeing ads for hiking boots, just shortly after we browsed the web for a new pair of hiking shoes. 


The documentary shed light on the fact that now, because you researched hiking boots, Facebook now knows that you enjoy the outdoors, and that you are willing to spend a certain amount of money on a pair of shoes. Facebook can even draw conclusions that you might be planning a hiking trip in the next few months. So, Facebook takes this information and hands it off to their advertisers that sell camping equipment, high-end shoes, and affordable flights to hiking hot spots.


Enter Apple’s Latest iOS Update


With the iOS 14 update, Apple came swooping in and verified that they will no longer allow apps to pull this information from us. 


Here is What You Need to Know:
  • iOS 14 will be giving the user the opportunity to opt-out of being tracked when using apps on their phone. 
  • Beginning in 2021, when you open an app, a pop up will appear that reads “Do you want this app to track you.” 


I think we can safely assume nobody wants to be tracked.


The reality is that users probably won’t even notice a difference. You will still see the same amount of ads – they will just be randomized. This update will mainly impact the business owners who spend money to advertise with Facebook.  


What Does This Mean For Your Business? 

A lot of businesses rely on Facebook and Instagram to find new leads and reach potential customers. With the new iOS 14 update, your business is going to have to get creative with its marketing. The popular phrase, “content is king,” will continue to be true. We recommend leaning into email marketing and Facebook groups to connect with your current customer base. Make yourself irreplaceable to your customers by continuing to add value to their lives. It is important to have a space on the internet that you own. 


Think of it this way: If all social media disappeared tomorrow – would you still have a way to connect with your customers? 


Our Prediction

Facebook cannot afford to lose ad revenue, after all, it’s how they make money. We predict that Facebook will implement some other way to hyper-target ads, so that advertisers are seeing the value of running their ads on the platform. 


What’s your prediction? What are your thoughts on privacy on social media? Let us know by tagging us on Instagram

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