Facebook’s workaround to Apple’s new privacy changes is simple – leveraging Instagram’s massive user base

Facebook’s workaround to Apple’s new privacy changes is simple – leveraging Instagram’s massive user base
Mark ZuckerbergBCCL
  • Facebook’s chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg has outlined a simple strategy to work around Apple’s new privacy changes.
  • The company revealed this in its earnings call, as it reassured analysts that it thinks these changes are “manageable”.
  • Zuckerberg also announced that Facebook Marketplace has over 1 billion monthly users.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has announced a workaround to Apple’s new privacy changes on iOS 14.5. The announcement was made at the company’s earnings call, outlining measures the company has planned to survive Apple’s controversial update.

The key takeaway from the call is Facebook’s new e-commerce strategy, which makes its e-commerce platforms – Marketplace, Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops – more tightly integrated with each other. By doing so, the social media giant reduces the need to track users across other sites.

Zuckerberg also announced that Marketplace already has over 1 billion monthly users. Apple’s privacy changes and this massive user base could have acted as catalysts for Facebook to reduce its dependence on other sites for tracking the effectiveness of its ads.,

Earlier this week, Apple rolled out the App Tracking Transparency feature with the iOS 14.5 update. As a result of this update, apps that want to track users will have to ask for permission from users. Users can deny the permission without affecting their usage of the app.

Facebook and Apple have publicly criticized each other over this new privacy feature, but Apple has eventually won this round.

Here’s what Facebook’s workaround is


Facebook will leverage Instagram’s user base to work around Apple’s privacy changes. Here’s how it works:

Essentially, an advertiser targeting a particular product category, say – fitness trackers – will pay to run ads aimed at people who follow creators posting content about fitness. When these users see those fitness tracker ads, they could click on them and buy those items from the company’s Instagram Shop.

Since the option to track users is out of Facebook’s control now, it is revamping its tracking within its properties - in this example, Instagram - to serve better advertisements and prove its effectiveness.

This way, the brand successfully converts its ads into sales, and Facebook can prove the effectiveness of its ad platform.

According to a CNBC report, Facebook’s Chief Financial Officer David Wehner told analysts that the impact of Apple’s privacy changes will be “manageable”.

Why is it important for Facebook to track users?

Tracking users across apps and websites is important for Facebook, as the company uses a measure called ‘view-through tracking’. This allows Facebook and advertisers to measure how effective their ads are.

If this metric is no longer trackable, it could force advertisers to shift away from Facebook to Google, according to a CNBC report.


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