The Impact of Accomplishment Arbitrage and Apple's Role in Facebook's Ad Crisis


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 15, 2023

4 min read


The Impact of Accomplishment Arbitrage and Apple's Role in Facebook's Ad Crisis


In today's rapidly evolving world, the value of accomplishments is often subjective and can change over time. This phenomenon, known as "accomplishment arbitrage," occurs when individuals or companies take advantage of the disparity between the perceived value of an accomplishment and its true value. In this article, we will explore the concept of accomplishment arbitrage and its implications. Additionally, we will delve into the role of Apple in Facebook's recent ad crisis, highlighting the changes made by Apple that have significantly impacted the advertising landscape.

Understanding Accomplishment Arbitrage:

Accomplishment arbitrage involves leveraging the past value of an accomplishment to gain a higher perceived value in the present. For example, individuals may refer to accomplishments achieved in the past when the conditions were more favorable or the achievement was easier to attain. By doing so, they create a disconnect between the perceived value and the true value of their accomplishment.

This concept also applies to the process of taking a company public. The ease or difficulty of this process can vary over time, leading to differences in the perceived value of the accomplishment. Companies that successfully navigated the challenges of going public during more challenging times may benefit from accomplishment arbitrage by highlighting their achievements in comparison to current market conditions.

The Apple-Facebook Ad Crisis:

Apple's changes to its mobile operating system in 2020 had a significant impact on Facebook's advertising revenue. The alterations made it harder for app-makers and advertisers to track user behavior, leading to an estimated $10 billion loss in revenue for Facebook. Apple's decision to empower iPhone users with the ability to opt-out of being tracked disrupted the advertising infrastructure that heavily relied on user tracking for targeted ads.

Facebook's advertisers now face the challenge of reaching iPhone users effectively. With the decreased ability to measure the direct impact of their campaigns, advertisers must make less-informed guesses about the effectiveness of their ad spend. Consequently, advertisers may need to allocate more resources to reach their target audience on iPhones, potentially increasing their overall advertising costs.

The Solution: Facebook's Strategic Shift:

To mitigate the impact of Apple's changes, Facebook has adopted a strategic shift in its approach. The company is focusing on selling products directly on its own apps, such as Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, and Facebook's digital storefronts. By doing so, Facebook aims to create a hardware and software platform where it can interact directly with users and advertisers without interference from Apple or other external parties.

This shift allows Facebook to gather data on the behavior of larger user groups, even though it can no longer track individual users as effectively. While this approach may not provide the same level of granular insights, it still enables advertisers to analyze the overall impact of their campaigns and make informed decisions.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Diversify Advertising Strategies: In light of the changing advertising landscape, businesses should explore diversifying their advertising strategies beyond platforms heavily impacted by changes like Apple's. Consider investing in other channels, such as influencer marketing or niche platforms, to reach target audiences effectively.
  • 2. Focus on Engaging Content: With limited tracking capabilities, businesses should prioritize creating engaging and compelling content that resonates with their target audience. By focusing on content quality and relevance, businesses can still drive meaningful interactions and conversions, even without granular tracking data.
  • 3. Embrace Data Privacy and Transparency: As consumers become more privacy-conscious, businesses should prioritize data privacy and transparency in their operations. By building trust with their audience through ethical data practices, businesses can differentiate themselves and foster long-term customer loyalty.


Accomplishment arbitrage showcases the dynamic nature of value perception and the importance of adapting to changing circumstances. Apple's impact on Facebook's ad revenue highlights the need for businesses to be agile and proactive in navigating disruptions in the advertising landscape. By diversifying strategies, focusing on engaging content, and prioritizing data privacy, businesses can mitigate the challenges posed by evolving industry dynamics and maintain their competitive edge. Ultimately, the ability to adapt and innovate will be crucial for success in an ever-changing business landscape.

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