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Apple iOS 14.5: Facebook hints you may have to pay for its main app, Instagram in future

The notices that we see in both the apps show the same message. “Help keep Facebook/Instagram free of charge”. The notifications are also said to be designed to be shown before Apple's system-level ATT alert.

Representational image.
Representational image. (Picjumbo)

Apple and Facebook have been in a long tussle with each other ever since the former announced it is bringing App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature in iOS 14.5. This new feature in the iPhone OS version that was released recently, indirectly forces apps to add a system-level prompt request, asking customers if the app can track them for tailored and useful ads. Facebook was not in favour of this as it thought many might disable this feature and it would hurt their advertisement business. So, the social media giant is doing its best to educate iPhone customers why they can leave app tracking enabled.

For this, Mark Zuckerberg’s firm is now said to add new screens for both its main app and Instagram. The screens are supposed to tell iPhone users on iSO 14.5 that enabling tracking under Apple's App Tracking Transparency policy will "help keep" the apps free to use. Hints of it were found in both the main Facebook app and Instagram app by researcher Ashkan Soltani. The screenshots of the feature are posted by him on Twitter.

Also read: Impact of Apple ad tracking changes will hinge on app developers, exec says

The notices that we see in both the apps show the same message. “Help keep Facebook/Instagram free of charge”. The notifications are also said to be designed to be shown before Apple's system-level ATT alert. In addition, the notifications also mention what this latest version of iOS requires and how the social media firm limits the use of customer’s information.

“This version of iOS requires us to ask for permission to track some data from this device to improve your ads. Learn how we limit the use of this information if you don’t turn on this device setting.” This is followed by three options, one of which we mentioned above. The other two are “Show you ads that are more personalised” and “Support businesses that rely on ads to reach their customers”. At the bottom of the screen one can see the ‘Continue’ option as well.

The most worrying part here is the “Help keep Facebook/Instagram free of charge”. This indicates that the company might end up charging users for the service at some point.

Facebook has already detailed the impact of ATT to its clients in a note last month. It talked about the restrictions in availability of ad targeting and metrics tools and a possible impact on audience engagement.

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