Apple, The ad Critic, Now Embraces ads

Apple claims it can sell more internet advertisements without being intrusive.

Apple has been a vocal opponent of online advertising for some time now because of its tendency to collect and store excessive amounts of personal data. The company now aspires to expand its internet advertising business and claims it can do it without being intrusive.

Can Apple make money off of web advertising without people feeling icky about it?

This will be an experiment, with us as the test subjects, to see if a future of digital advertising can exist that consumes less of our data.

It is doable, digital advertising specialists informed me, but not easy, for Apple to achieve its goal.

Google, Facebook, and other tech giants, as well as less well-known data brokers, can see everything we do on our phones and where we go, as well as keep detailed logs of our interactions with websites and applications and even correlate seemingly unrelated data, such how much battery life we have left.

The majority of the time, this is done so that they can better target us with ads for things like “butt flap pajamas” or to sell our information in bulk for uses we can’t even begin to fathom.

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Ugly as it may be, the digital advertising system generates significant revenue. While Apple uses less of these standard internet monitoring technologies, it may need to accommodate them if it ever hopes to compete with Google and Facebook in the advertising market. Furthermore, Apple is vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy in light of its campaign to restrict traditional advertising practices while simultaneously selling advertisements.

Let me break down Apple’s motivations for expanding into advertising, the company’s current advertising strategy, and how this may affect our digital lives in the future.

Why does Apple want to sell more ads?

Apple Ads
Source: Slash Gear

Because of Money.

In particular, Apple makes a lot of money off of users looking for health apps on the iPhone App Store and people reading articles in the Apple News app.

Apple won’t say so when it unveils new iPhones on Wednesday, but the business needs new revenue streams to offset slowing smartphone sales if it wants to continue expanding. According to recent reports in Bloomberg News and The Financial Times, Apple intends to expand its advertising business, which might involve the inclusion of adverts in Apple Maps and other sites and apps.

Amazon, DoorDash, and Instacart are just a few examples of successful businesses that are rapidly exploring the advertising side of the business.

How Apple Ads Are Different From Others?

Everything we do on our phones, wherever we go and a great deal of information about ourselves are all fair game for advertisers.

If businesses realize that I am more likely than my neighbor to reply to an ad for a cycling holiday, then they may be willing to offer me a discount.

Limits on this data weapons race are increasingly desired by consumers, lawmakers, regulators, and businesses alike. Despite our apprehension, many of us are powerless to prevent digital surveillance.

Read More: AR Has A “Profound Future” Says Apple CEO Tim Cook; What To Expect From this?

If you’re looking for an alternative, Apple has you covered, at least somewhat.

For instance, a video game developer could request that Apple target its in-app advertising toward women in San Francisco who have downloaded and used the developer’s program on an iPad.

In addition, Apple claims that the vast majority of its devices’ ad inventory is served to users who have opted out of receiving targeted adverts. Advertisements are still displayed to these users, but they are not specific to their interests or demographics.

Limits of Apple’s Ads Approach

It’s common to gather any morsel of our data if it might help sell socks, according to several digital advertising experts I spoke with, and if Apple wants to compete among data-hungry ad providers, it will have to do the same.

Apple could face pressure from marketers to become more intrusive by tailoring app recommendations to the user’s preferences and activity within the user’s existing app ecosystem.

Apple maintains that it will not engage in such practices and that its adverts, regardless of whether they are tailored to the individual user’s tastes, are equally effective.

In spite of this, Apple faces more potential conflicts as its ad sales increase.

Ad sellers like Facebook and Snap had to revamp their ad infrastructures last year when Apple introduced the option for iPhone users to prevent applications from sharing their data with other companies. Online advertisers that are small businesses have complained that Apple’s modifications have hindered their ability to reach customers. But this, along with other developments in digital advertising, is giving an edge to ad sellers like Apple, Google, and Amazon which have vast amounts of personal information about us, to begin with.

However, the experts I spoke with mostly agreed that Apple was being honest about its intentions to guide digital life away from an over-reliance on data collection. This raises the question of whether Apple can secure its users while staying true to its values.

Originally published in The New York Times. Keep visiting Tradelia for more such updates.

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