Facebook asking users to enable tracking to keep Facebook and Instagram free


Apple recently released its latest iOS 14.5, which includes a ton of new features along with a new App Tracking Transparency feature. This feature was heavily criticized by Facebook, claiming that it presents a “false tradeoff” between personalized ads and privacy.

This feature allows users to decide if they want to allow apps to track their activity across other apps and websites for advertising purposes. So even though Facebook has been a vocal opponent but they really have no choice but to comply with the new requirement in iOS 14.5 update.

So Facebook has started showing its users a popup message whenever they open Facebook-owned apps, explaining that “iOS 14.5 requires developers to ask for permission to track some data from this device to improve your ads.”

In the pop-up message, Facebook explains that iOS 14.5 requires developers to “ask for permission to track some data from this device to improve your ads.”

The popup then highlights three ways that users benefit from this type of data collection:

  • Show you ads that are more personalized
  • Help keep Instagram/Facebook free of charge
  • Support businesses that rely on ads to reach their customers

Facebook refers to these popups as “educational screens.” They will appear to users immediately before the iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency prompt. The second bullet point is especially interesting because there have been no indications that Facebook plans to offer paid versions of its applications.

To help people make a more informed decision, we’re also showing a screen of our own, along with Apple’s. It will provide more information about how we use personalized ads, which support small businesses and keep apps free. If you accept the prompts for Facebook and Instagram, the ads you see on those apps won’t change. If you decline, you will still see ads, but they will be less relevant to you. Agreeing to these prompts doesn’t result in Facebook collecting new types of data. It just means that we can continue to give people better experiences.

If a company tries to get around the opt-in feature, then that app will be considered in violation of the opt-in requirement. These rules also apply to Apple’s own apps.

Facebook says the prompts will begin rolling out in Instagram and Facebook applications over the coming days and weeks, so you might not see them right away.