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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg slams Apple CEO’s statement on advertising

Retaliating to the remarks from Apple CEO Tim Cook over Facebook’s business model with built-in advertising, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg slammed Cook. Zuckerberg said that Apple’s products don’t align with its customers because they are very expensive, and if they were aligned with their customers, those products would be a lot cheaper. He said that to sell Apple products, Tim Cook chooses to charge “an arm and a leg.”Mark-Zuckerberg

Last September, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that the companies with built-in advertising as business models, including world’s largest social network Facebook, treat their users/customers as products. He wrote something similar in September in a statement spelling out Apple’s privacy policy: “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

In an interview with Lev Grossman of Time Magazine, Mark Zuckerberg said:

“A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers. I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”

Cook hasn’t particularly mentioned any services or products, but it was supposed to taunt Google, and Facebook also comes in the blast radius. Recently, a new ad-free social network Ello also marketed itself as anti-Facebook social network and said that Facebook is treating its users as the product, not customers.

Apple CEO showed his concerns over such companies’ data collection policy in order to make more money by selling this data to advertisers. Cook also stressed that these companies should be very transparent to its users as well as the lawmakers.

Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook’s advertising business model is completely in alignment with its users. Facebook has nearly $8 billion in advertising revenue with more than 1.35 billion users, worldwide. Recently, Facebook announced a new privacy policy, which was criticized by privacy watchdogs around the world. Facebook is said to be collecting more and more user data to sell more ads on users’ timeline.

Facebook and Apple’s business model are completely opposite of each other. Facebook is a free social networking service, while Apple sells premium hardware such as iPhones and iPads for an average price of $600-$700. Facebook makes money by collecting users’ data to get more advertising revenue, while Apple collects very little data of its users, and it doesn’t sell user information for advertising revenue.

Most of the free online services also depend on Facebook-like business model to survive. Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and other services also collect user data for targeted advertising. Recently, Twitter announced that it will collect the information on installed applications on its users’ phones for targeted advertising as well as users/content.

About Ariana Whitmore

She has been writing columns on consumer gadgets since 2010. Her areas of interests include smartphones, tablets, mobile OS and apps. She holds M.C.S. degree and working on her startup, which aims to solve IT support issues.


  1. It is strange, but I don't feel any empathy at all for either Mark Zuckerburg or dead Steve Jobs. It's pretty neat for them and all those new IT professionals that something is happening that makes them big money so they can afford to live in SF area, but really….One rich nerd badmouthing a dead Nerd from some other corporation? Over how they advertise on smart phones? Can't we go on to something important? Like maybe some nude pictures of Kim Kardashian, or something?

  2. Bad mouthing a dead need? I read Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg in this article. Where did you see Steve Jobs mentioned other than your post?

  3. Mark Zuckerburg is right. Apple is costly and seems to be taking advantage that they are the number one brand in the world right now. Zuckerburg, keep up the great work. I use facebook on a daily bases and it has connected me to many people I never thought I'd see again. The advertisements have helped me very much so back off Cook! As for Don, Par attention to what your reading before posting something completely irrelevant.

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