KEY POINTS

  • Facebook, Instagram update prompts to comply with iOS 14.5 ATT guidelines
  • Urges users to allow tracking to help keep Facebook and Instagram free
  • Facebook relies on ad sales across its apps and services through data tracking

Stumbled on the new tracking transparency norms on Apple's app platform, Facebook and Instagram have started prompting customers to allow tracking to continue enjoying their services free of charge.

Apple's App Tracking Transparency (ATT) requires all applications to provide users with an option to allow or prevent apps from tracking their activities across other apps and websites. App developers can explain their reasons for tracking a user's online activity.

Facebook and Instagram seemingly found a way to work around the privacy protection initiative. On May 1, Ashkan Soltani, a technology researcher published a Twitter update describing the new pop-up he noticed on Facebook and Instagram.

A part of the notice says “help keep Facebook for free." An almost similar notice was seen on Facebook-owned Instagram as well saying “help keep Instagram free,” Mac Rumors reported.

The statements are part of the social media giant’s update prompt on applications. It explains why a user must enable tracking.

Facebook recently updated its app prompt in compliance with the ATT that rolled out along the iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, and tvOS 14.5 on April 26.

On the updated application prompt that Facebook dubbed as the educational screen, the social media giant gave out three reasons why a user should enable tracking, including the possibility to keep it free. Interestingly, there has never been any hint that Facebook plans to convert it into a paid application.

Facebook business models mostly rely on selling ads across the social media giant’s apps and services. In a blog post updated on April 26, Facebook reiterated its stance on the ATT and explained how Facebook manages the data collection.

“Facebook is speaking up for small businesses. Apple’s new iOS 14 policy will have a harmful impact on many small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet that we all rely on more than ever,” said Dan Levy, VP Ads and Business Products for Facebook.

Apple on Thursday announced a $200 million fund to invest in timber-producing commercial forestry projects, with the goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere Apple on Thursday announced a $200 million fund to invest in timber-producing commercial forestry projects, with the goal of removing carbon from the atmosphere Photo: AFP / Mladen ANTONOV