The Impact of Apple's Changes on Facebook's Ad Crisis and the Importance of Product Personality


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 30, 2023

4 min read


The Impact of Apple's Changes on Facebook's Ad Crisis and the Importance of Product Personality


In recent times, the relationship between tech giants Apple and Facebook has been marred by conflicts, especially concerning changes made by Apple that affect how ads work on iOS apps. The modifications made by Apple have made it significantly harder for app-makers and advertisers to track user behavior, causing Facebook to predict a loss of $10 billion in revenue this year. This article aims to delve into the repercussions of Apple's changes and explore the significance of a product's personality in the success of social products.

The Impact of Apple's Changes on Facebook's Ad Sales:

In June 2020, Apple announced changes to its mobile operating system, granting iPhone users the ability to prevent app-makers from tracking their online activities. This alteration directly affects the foundation of the internet's advertising infrastructure, where targeted ads based on user behavior are prevalent. An example of this is when users see ads for products they have previously viewed on e-commerce websites while visiting other sites. While signs of Apple's changes adversely affecting Facebook's ad sales were evident, many assumed that Facebook, being a cash-rich company with talented engineers, would find a way to overcome the challenge.

The Challenges Faced by Facebook Advertisers:

The changes implemented by Apple have compelled Facebook advertisers to allocate more funds in the hope of reaching iPhone users effectively. Previously, advertisers could meticulously measure the efficacy of their campaigns, down to the penny. However, with the new changes, advertisers are forced to make less informed guesses about the impact of their ad dollars. Consequently, Facebook has shifted its focus towards selling products directly through its own apps, such as Facebook's Marketplace and dedicated digital storefronts on Instagram. This strategy enables Facebook to provide advertisers with insights into the actions of a larger group of users, even if they cannot track individual user interactions.

The Battle for Control: Facebook vs. Apple:

As Facebook grapples with the impact of Apple's changes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is determined to establish a hardware and software platform that allows direct interaction with users and advertisers, free from external interference. By doing so, Zuckerberg aims to create an ecosystem where Facebook can regain control over its advertising infrastructure, without relying on Apple or any other entity. This battle for control highlights the tension between the two tech giants, with Facebook seeking autonomy and Apple advocating for user privacy and reform within the digital landscape.

The Significance of Product Personality:

Beyond the conflicts between Apple and Facebook lies the fundamental importance of a product's personality. When developing social products, it is crucial for customers to perceive the app as fun. Fun serves as a basic emotion that must be achieved to ensure the success of a product. Additionally, the personality of a product is influenced by the leader of the product team. It is essential for product teams to define and align the personality of their product, as this greatly impacts user engagement and satisfaction.


The clash between Apple and Facebook regarding ad tracking changes highlights the ongoing struggle for control and privacy within the digital landscape. While Facebook grapples with the financial implications of Apple's modifications, it is crucial for businesses to recognize the significance of product personality. Aligning the personality of a product with customer expectations and perceptions can greatly enhance its success. In light of these insights, here are three actionable pieces of advice for businesses:

  • 1. Adapt to changing circumstances: In the face of external changes, such as Apple's alterations, businesses must be agile and find innovative ways to overcome challenges, ensuring continued success.
  • 2. Prioritize product personality: Invest time and effort in defining and aligning the personality of your product. Ensure that it resonates with your target audience and fosters a sense of fun, as this greatly impacts user satisfaction and engagement.
  • 3. Embrace direct interaction with users: Building platforms or ecosystems that allow for direct interaction between your company, users, and advertisers can provide greater control and autonomy, reducing reliance on external entities.

By embracing these actionable pieces of advice, businesses can navigate the evolving digital landscape while creating engaging products that resonate with their target audience.

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