Facebook Wants iPhone Users to Grant Tracking Permission to Keep Services ‘Free of Charge’

facebook birthday sync iPhone calendar

With the release of iOS 14.5, Apple also rolled out App Tracking Transparency which requires apps to take users’ explicit permission before they can track them across apps and services. The feature is expected to have an impact on the advertising industry, with Facebook heavily criticizing it. Now, Facebook and Instagram want iPhone users to grant them the required permission for tracking them to keep their services “free of charge.”

Facebook already detailed its plans on showing an “educational screen” to users on how it tracks them and uses the collected data to show personalized ads, “keep Facebook free of charge,” and “support businesses that rely on ads to reach their customers.” Apart from Facebook, Instagram will also show a similar prompt to users. This “educational screen” will be shown in Facebook and Instagram’s iOS app before the App Tracking pop-up is shown.

On its part, Apple has already made it clear that developers cannot lure users into granting them tracking permission by using unethical techniques. This includes offering them incentives, displaying a custom message that looks similar to the system alert, use a visual cue to bring attention to the “Allow” button, and more. Doing any of this will result in the app being banned from the App Store.

Since the release of iOS 14.5 just a week ago, 10,000+ apps on the App Store have already enabled App Tracking Transparency support. Facebook will also roll out the App Tracking Transparency prompt for the Facebook and Instagram app in the coming weeks.

Our Take

Despite Facebook’s wording, it is very unlikely that the company will start charging customers for using its service. The company has already said that the App Tracking feature will have a “manageable” impact on its ad business.

Will you pay for Facebook if it completely stops tracking you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.