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Facebook says Apple's new privacy rules could spare its own apps but hit smaller companies – Reuters

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(Reuters) – Facebook Inc on Wednesday warned that privacy changes coming from Apple Inc could hurt smaller developers such as gaming companies disproportionately but will likely leave its own apps mostly unscathed.

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is seen placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

In a blog post, Facebook said it was making a change to its own apps – which in addition to its flagship app also include WhatsApp and Instagram – that would likely spare them from having to ask iPhone users for data-tracking permissions that many advertising industry insiders believe users will refuse.

Facebook shares surged 8.2% on Wednesday to close at $303.91, a record high for a second straight day.

In a blog post, Facebook said it was also making changes that could hurt smaller developers that use a Facebook tool for serving apps in third-party apps. The changes come ahead of Apple’s new rules, which require increased user notifications for ad tracking and will take effect when new iPhones arrive this fall.

Facebook said it was considering discontinuing on iPhones a tool called Audience Network, which thousands of developers put into their apps to serve ads. Facebook collects data about users from the apps where it serves those ads, which it uses to inform highly tailored targeting throughout its business.

“Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14,” Facebook said in a blog post bit.ly/3lh5zcp. (bit.ly/3lh5zcp)

The Audience Network business, while an important source of revenue and traffic to small developers such as gaming companies, is far from Facebook’s biggest business, said Brian Wieser, global president of business intelligence at GroupM. “It would surprise me if it was greater than $1 billion on a net basis,” he said.

Apple previously provided a tool called the identifier for advertisers, or IDFA, that allowed Facebook and others to engage in such tracking of users across apps.

But in June, the iPhone maker said such activity will require a pop-up notification saying the app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies.” Digital advertising firms expect most users will decline to grant that permission.

“Apple is saying, we had an ‘opt out’ system before, and we’re going to switch to an ‘opt in’ system,” said Craig Danuloff, chief executive of The Privacy Co, which makes an app to help users assess how private their data is.

“What do advertisers say? They immediately assume it’s Armageddon. They just know nobody really wants this.”

As an alternative to the tracking tools it previously provided advertisers, Apple created a new advertising network technology that was better for privacy protection of users.

Facebook on Wednesday said it would stop using Apple’s older tracking tools in its own apps and adopt Apple’s new offering, though it said Apple’s new technology “limits the data available to businesses for running and measuring campaigns.”

The changes Facebook announced Wednesday will fall hardest on ads that prompt users to install new mobile apps, a format that is heavily used in the video game industry.

“Apple’s iOS 14 changes will certainly negatively affect the way that game studios and publishers currently raise revenue and gain users through sales targeted advertisements,” Renee Gittins, executive director of the International Game Developers Association, said in a statement.

John Nardone, chief executive of ad serving software company Flashtalking, said Apple’s move to restrict its ad business could be viewed as anti-competitive by raising prices for consumers used to free, ad-supported apps.

“There’s self-interest in Apple doing this because as the advertising revenue stream becomes more difficult, then apps have to charge users and Apple, as you know from the Epic Games case, takes 30% of that,” Nardone said. “Apple doesn’t have a stake in ads but they have a stake in paid apps.”

For publishers the burden may be less, said David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, which represents several major U.S. publishers.

Many rely on what is known as first-party data, such as which stories a user reads, to determine which ads to show, an activity which is not subject to Apple’s new rules.

“News publishers aren’t huge beneficiaries of cross-app tracking and, more broadly, we all see the ecosystem moving against highly targeted programmatic ads,” he said. “There may end up being benefits to publishers from that, such as a some move back to contextual advertising.”

Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Bernadette Baum

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Epic Games continues fight against Apple, urges iPhone-maker to restore Fortnite on App Store – Economic Times

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SAN FRANCISCO: Epic Games will strive anew Monday to convince a judge that its hit title Fortnite should be restored to Apple’s App Store, despite sidestepping the tech titan’s standard commission on transactions.

Apple does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store, and Epic is challenging its practice of taking a 30 percent cut of money spent on the apps by users.

The clash comes as Apple puts priority on selling digital content and subscription services to the one billion-plus people around the world using devices powered by its iOS mobile operating software.

The commission dispute has also become a rallying cry for app makers who believe Apple’s App Store policies are monopolistic.

Major app developers including Epic and streaming music giant Spotify recently formed a coalition to press for new terms with the major online marketplaces operated by Apple and Google.

Google runs a Play Store for apps tailored for devices powered by its Android software and also takes a commission, but people are free to get apps from other online venues.

The new Coalition for App Fairness advocacy group said it will seek legal and regulatory changes for the app stores which serve as gatekeepers for much of the mobile software distributed to smartphone users.

The move comes amid rising criticism of the fees and terms imposed by the app stores, and legal challenges by both Epic and Spotify to Apple’s commission for online subscriptions.

A hearing slated for Monday before a federal judge in California will focus on whether Apple should be compelled to put Fortnite back in the App Store while an overarching lawsuit plays out.

Apple pulled Fortnite from its online mobile apps marketplace on August 13 after Epic released an update that dodges revenue sharing with the iPhone maker.

The judge in the case previously rejected an emergency injunction request by Epic, saying Fortnite’s eviction by Apple was a “self-inflicted wound.”

But Epic did not back down from its fight against Apple, accusing the tech giant of being “a monopolist.”

Due to the legal row, Fortnite fans using iPhones or other Apple devices no longer have access to the latest game updates, including the new season released at the end of August.

Stay Fit! Apple Watch Series 6 Wins Over Health Freaks With Oxygen Monitor, ECG & Fitness T…

All Health Metrics At One Place

At its much-awaited September event, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 6, sequel to Watch Series 5, which keeps a track of all your fitness parameters at one place. It comes with various features such as ECG, fitness tracker and can also monitor the blood oxygen levels of the users.

What’s more? Given the Covid outbreak, the company has also partnered with various health organisations to see how blood oxygen level and heart rate can help users stay healthy.

The ability of the Apple Watch to monitor blood oxygen seeks to beat a similar feature already available on watches from rival Fitbit Inc, which Alphabet Inc’s Google is buying for $2.1 billion.

With all the health metrics available at one place, here’s why Apple Watch Series 6 can give a tough competition to Fitbit and emerge as the go-to gadget for all fitness enthusiasts.

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Dtac introduces Family Setup for Apple watchOS – Telecompaper

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Thai operator dtac has announced it will support cellular service for Family Setup, which allows kids and older family members of the household who do not have an iPhone to use Apple Watch. Apple introduces Family Setup in watchOS 7 1, bringing the communication, health, fitness, and safety features of Apple Watch to kids and older family members of the household who do not have iPhone. 

Apple Watch can be set up through a parent’s iPhone, so children can access its tools while parents can reach their child and identify their location. Kids and older family members using Family Setup will have their own phone number through a separate cellular plan. Family Setup will be available with watchOS 7 and iOS 14, and requires Apple Watch Series 4 morels or later or Apple Watch SE, paired with iPhone 6s or later.

To use all Family Setup features, dtac customers can subscribe to the dtac Family Watch package. Packages start from THB 150 per month and include 100 minutes for voice calls, and 500MB for internet traffic.

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West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers – Keremeos Review

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The Vernon Vipers fell to 0-2 in the B.C. Hockey League’s Okanagan Cup exhibition tournament Saturday night on home ice.

Deegan Mofford’s goal with 15 seconds left in the second period gave the visiting West Kelowna Warriors a 2-1 win over the Snakes at Kal Tire Place, completing a home-and-home sweep in the first two games of the tourney.

The Warriors beat Vernon 4-1 Friday at Royal LePage Place.

Kaidan Johnson gave the Vipers a 1-0 lead, tapping in a goal-mouth pass from defenceman Trey Taylor at 19:02 of the opening frame.

Carter Wilkie got that one back for the Warriors with a shorthanded goal at 16:30 of the second.

Zach Bennett picked up the win in goal for West Kelowna while Cloverdale product Roan Clarke was stellar in net for the Vipers.

The Okanagan Cup is a two-month tournament that will feature the Okanagan’s four teams, the Vipers, Warriors, Salmon Arm Silverbacks and Penticton Vees.

The tournament will consist of a total of 27 games as each team will face-off against one another four times. The games will take place on Fridays and Saturdays with each team playing a total of 12 games.

The final weekend of play will commence on Saturday, Nov. 7, followed by a weekend of semifinal and final action, beginning Friday, Nov. 13 and concluding with the championship game on Saturday, Nov. 14.

“This a great opportunity for our fans to get their hockey fix,” said Vipers executive vice-president Todd Miller.

Each of the teams 12 games will be streamed live on HockeyTV.com. In addition, all four organizations are excited to showcase their players on Shaw with select games airing on the Shaw channels across the Okanagan.

The Vees started the tournament 2-0, sweeping the Silverbacks 7-0 in Salmon Arm, and 8-2 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The tournament continues Friday, Oct. 2, when the undefeated Warriors and Vees tangle in Penticton. The clubs play again the next night in West Kelowna.

The Vipers will visit Penticton for a mid-week game Wednesday, Oct. 7, before the two teams meet at Kal Tire Place Saturday, Oct. 10.

READ MORE: West Kelowna Warriors top Vernon Vipers in return to action



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