The Clash of Titans: Apple, Facebook, and the Future of Advertising


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 06, 2023

3 min read


The Clash of Titans: Apple, Facebook, and the Future of Advertising


The clash between Apple and Facebook has sent shockwaves through the advertising industry. With changes in Apple's mobile operating system affecting how ads work on iOS apps, Facebook predicts a staggering $10 billion loss in revenue this year. This article explores how Apple's decision to prioritize user privacy has created a $250 billion ad crisis for Facebook, the implications for advertisers, and the future of digital advertising.

The Impact of Apple's Changes:

In June 2020, Apple announced significant changes to its mobile operating system, allowing iPhone users to opt-out of app tracking. This move disrupts the advertising infrastructure that relies heavily on user behavior tracking. Previously, users would often see ads for products they had previously viewed, thanks to tracking mechanisms. However, Apple's changes have made it difficult for app-makers and advertisers to track user behavior, severely impacting Facebook's ad sales.

Facebook's Struggle to Adapt:

While many believed that Facebook, with its vast resources and talented engineers, would find a way to overcome the challenges posed by Apple's changes, the reality has proven more complex. Advertisers on Facebook now face the dilemma of spending more money to reach iPhone users, with less certainty about the effectiveness of their campaigns. This shift has forced advertisers to rely on less-informed guesses, further complicating their ability to measure the success of their ad dollars.

The Rise of Facebook's Own Apps:

To counter the limitations imposed by Apple's changes, Facebook has been making a concerted effort to sell products directly on its own apps. This includes not only Facebook's Marketplace platform but also digital storefronts on Instagram and Facebook. By creating its hardware and software platform, Facebook aims to establish direct interaction with users and advertisers, circumventing interference from Apple and other external factors. This move aligns with Facebook's long-term strategy of building a self-sufficient ecosystem.

The Battle for User Privacy:

Apple's emphasis on user privacy has been a driving force behind these changes. In a speech at an international privacy conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook condemned businesses built on misleading users and data exploitation. Cook's stance reflects Apple's commitment to reform and prioritize user privacy. By giving users control over their data and online tracking, Apple aims to empower individuals, even at the cost of significant revenue loss for companies like Facebook.

Actionable Advice for Advertisers:

  • 1. Diversify Advertising Channels: With Facebook's ad crisis, it is crucial for advertisers to explore alternative platforms and channels. Relying solely on Facebook may limit reach and effectiveness. Consider investing in other social media platforms, search engine marketing, influencer partnerships, or email marketing to diversify your advertising efforts.
  • 2. Focus on Targeting Strategies: As tracking capabilities become more limited, advertisers must invest in refining their targeting strategies. Leverage first-party data, such as customer databases, to create personalized campaigns. Additionally, explore contextual targeting based on content relevancy to reach the right audience without relying solely on individual tracking.
  • 3. Embrace Creativity and Authenticity: With less reliance on precise tracking, advertisers must prioritize creativity and authenticity in their campaigns. Engaging and compelling content that resonates with the target audience can still yield positive results. Focus on crafting unique and memorable experiences that capture attention and drive conversions.


The clash between Apple and Facebook has disrupted the advertising landscape, highlighting the tension between user privacy and targeted advertising. While Facebook grapples with the consequences of Apple's changes, advertisers must adapt by diversifying their channels, refining targeting strategies, and emphasizing creativity and authenticity. The future of digital advertising will likely see a shift towards more privacy-conscious practices, empowering users while challenging businesses to innovate and find new ways to connect with their audiences.

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