Mark Zuckerberg calls Tim Cook's anti-Facebook retort 'glib,' defends ad-based model

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended his company's ad-based revenue model in an interview published on Monday, seemingly also challenging the spin adopted by Apple CEO Tim Cook.




"You know, I find that argument, that if you're not paying that somehow we can't care about you, to be extremely glib," Zuckerberg said in speaking to Vox. "And not at all aligned with the truth. The reality here is that if you want to build a service that helps connect everyone in the world, then there are a lot of people who can't afford to pay. And therefore, as with a lot of media, having an advertising-supported model is the only rational model that can support building this service to reach people."

The CEO noted that he makes decisions "based on what's going to matter to our community," focusing less on the ad side of the business.

Facebook has frequently been criticized as making users its product, collecting their data for targeted advertising. The interview comes in the wake of a scandal in which Cambridge Analytica gathered data on over 50 million Facebook users without their permission -- in turn using it to influence U.S. voters, specifically in favor of President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. Since the data was originally scraped in 2014, Facebook has tightened its privacy policies.

"But if you want to build a service which is not just serving rich people, then you need to have something that people can afford," Zuckerberg continued. "I thought [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos had an excellent saying on this in one of his Kindle launches a number of years back. He said, 'There are companies that work hard to charge you more, and there are companies that work hard to charge you less.' And at Facebook, we are squarely in the camp of the companies that work hard to charge you less and provide a free service that everyone can use.

"I don't think at all that that means that we don't care about people. To the contrary, I think it's important that we don't all get Stockholm Syndrome and let the companies that work hard to charge you more convince you that they actually care more about you. Because that sounds ridiculous to me."

Apple's Cook recently attacked Facebook directly in relation to Cambridge Analytica.

"The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer -- if our customer was our product," he said. "We've elected not to do that." Cook declined to answer how he would respond if he were in Zuckerberg's shoes, saying simply that he "wouldn't be in this situation."

Cook has regularly touted Apple's privacy safeguards. The company has sometimes even maintained these policies to its detriment, for example making Apple News less attractive to advertisers, and reducing the effectiveness of its voice assistant, Siri.

In recent times it has taken flak for making some of its core products increasingly expensive. The latest iPhones now start at $699, and the top-of-the-line iPhone X is $999 or more. People wanting to buy a state-of-the-art iPad must pay at least $649 -- much more than the $499 it cost to get a first-generation model in 2010, though inflation lessens the gap somewhat.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    Mark trying hard to cover his back side! If Facebook were so concerned about the customer then how does CA have data of 50 million users and why is it being investigated by several governments?
    dysamoriajbdragonMacsplosionmacxpressdws-2ronnpropodmagman1979StrangeDaysspliff monkey
  • Reply 2 of 72
    red oakred oak Posts: 627member
    The iPhone SE is now at $349.  The improved entry level iPad is $329.   The entire price range is expanding,  upper and bottom 
    jbdragonlordjohnwhorfinLukeCageanton zuykovronnpropodchiamagman1979StrangeDaysspliff monkey
  • Reply 3 of 72
    georgie01georgie01 Posts: 203member
    Zuckerberg says... "The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer —if our customer was our product,"

    I think the truth is that if Facebook started charging customers the user base would dramatically decline (far below those who could ‘afford’ it). They know their customers are either cheap skates or that their service isn’t valuable enough to charge for. Neither perspective sounds like putting a lot of value on customers beyond using them to accomplish one’s own desires, although that’s certainly a common approach to business.
    MacsplosionlordjohnwhorfinSpamSandwichmelodyof1974anton zuykovronnchiamagman1979pscooter63redgeminipa
  • Reply 4 of 72
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,676member
    If Cook is really concerned about Facebook and Google he could remove all their apps from the App Store. He could replace Google as the default search engine in iOS. And he could tell his teams to make Apple software and services so good no one who owns an Apple device would want to use Gmail, Google Docs or Google Maps.

    i just upgraded my wireless router in my house. I bought a Google mesh system. I would rather have bought something from Apple but they don’t make it so Google it was. And so far it’s been working incredibly well.
    patchythepirateholyonebloodshotrollin'red
  • Reply 5 of 72
    I think both Mr. Cook and Mr. Zuckerberg have proven to be quite successful :)

    This is just different visions clashing. Both are running an entirely different type of company.

    Apple sucks at the stuff Facebook is doing, and some of the stuff Google excels at. And vice versa. Different companies, different business models.

    Zuckerberg has a point when he calls Cook’s statement glib. Because Apple ain’t running a social platform. In fact they have proven not to ‘get’ that. No one would ever pay a subscription fee for a social platform - not at scale at least. 
    Apple can get away with iCloud & Apple Music subscriptions because it’s simply a totally different product with a different demography. 
    dewmebshank
  • Reply 6 of 72
    Facebook is charging it's customers. The price is not currency it is their privacy. For me, that cost may be too high.
    emig647rob53dysamoriaGG1cincymaclordjohnwhorfinmwhiteronnchiamackerr
  • Reply 7 of 72
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member
    At one time TV and Radio was always free to everyone, no matter how much you made, everyone was treated the same, media broadcast did not discriminate based on your social economic background, If you could buy a radio or TV or share one with your neighbor you can see free content. This all was supported by advertising. however, at no time did the media companies know anything about you what you did each day, how you spent your time and money.

    So Zuck is claiming there are people who can not afford his product and services unless he know everything about them and then use their formation to target information at them which may or may not be in their own best interest.

    Zuck is really trying hard to get this to blow over, he is hoping in a few weeks people will forget and go back to what they always have been doing which is sharing their information with Zuck so he can make lots of money. If that happen I guess i will jump back in on the stock and also make money off people giving up their privacy.
    rob53patchythepirateronnchiapscooter63hcrefugeesandorbrakkenbshankredgeminipa
  • Reply 8 of 72
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 638editor
    maestro64 said:
    At one time TV and Radio was always free to everyone, no matter how much you made, everyone was treated the same, media broadcast did not discriminate based on your social economic background, If you could buy a radio or TV or share one with your neighbor you can see free content. This all was supported by advertising. however, at no time did the media companies know anything about you what you did each day, how you spent your time and money.

    So Zuck is claiming there are people who can not afford his product and services unless he know everything about them and then use their formation to target information at them which may or may not be in their own best interest.

    Zuck is really trying hard to get this to blow over, he is hoping in a few weeks people will forget and go back to what they always have been doing which is sharing their information with Zuck so he can make lots of money. If that happen I guess i will jump back in on the stock and also make money off people giving up their privacy.
    Nielsen ratings did come from somewhere, though. Advertisers weren't just throwing dollars at TV spend, they were working on spending on time slots when they knew people would be watching, and more than that, when they knew their target audience would be watching. Soap operas are called that because it was that time of day when the housewife was at home, and they could advertise soap to her.
    lordjohnwhorfinchiabloodshotrollin'redbshankredgeminipaargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 72
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,570member
    I think facebook knowingly sold the data to Cambridge Analitica.
    FaceBook does care about its community because the community's information is worth a lot to the likes of Cambridge Analitica.

    Tim Cook simply stated the truth that facebook makes money from advertising and selling user info.  That is just a fact.

    Selling of data can be done responsibly with user's consent or irresponsibly like Cambridge Analitica.  
    FaceBook should have known what CA was planning to do with all of its data.
    lordjohnwhorfinpatchythepiratemwhiteronnchiamackerrmacseekermagman1979BittySonpscooter63
  • Reply 10 of 72
    minisu1980minisu1980 Posts: 112member
    If Cook is really concerned about Facebook and Google he could remove all their apps from the App Store. He could replace Google as the default search engine in iOS. And he could tell his teams to make Apple software and services so good no one who owns an Apple device would want to use Gmail, Google Docs or Google Maps.

    i just upgraded my wireless router in my house. I bought a Google mesh system. I would rather have bought something from Apple but they don’t make it so Google it was. And so far it’s been working incredibly well.
    Or you know, rather than abusing the power his position provides and restricting peoples freedoms he could use the megaphone he has as the CEO of the largest most forward thinking company in history to publicly call out disgusting behavior in a tactful "just the facts ma'am" manner as he did. Steve made a very wise choice in Tim, he has proven to be a good steward of both the company and it's culture. The largest issue with Apple replacing Google is how to do you do search and make money without becoming another Google (an ad/data seller) in the process. Google, to it's credit, has been extraordinarily successful in their ability to monetize search. That has shaped the company's values and culture negatively, in my view. Apple could subsidize a tracking free search, but that would be the anti-thesis of what has made them successful. I too mourn the loss of Apples networking gear, I have found it to be among the most reliable hands off consumer networking equipment available.
    edited April 2018 mwhiteronnpropodchiamagman1979StrangeDaysBittySonspliff monkeylostkiwiredgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 72
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,932member
    If Cook is really concerned about Facebook and Google he could remove all their apps from the App Store. He could replace Google as the default search engine in iOS. And he could tell his teams to make Apple software and services so good no one who owns an Apple device would want to use Gmail, Google Docs or Google Maps.

    i just upgraded my wireless router in my house. I bought a Google mesh system. I would rather have bought something from Apple but they don’t make it so Google it was. And so far it’s been working incredibly well.


    If anything, Google is worse than Facebook. Facebook you can flee from, Google, there's no escaping that, other than going to iOS. If anything Google is more invasive than Facebook. Google pays APple a lot of money to be the default Search on iOS. First thing I do is change it right over to DuckDuckGo. No need to use Google Services either if you don't want to or limit what you do to like only gmail. Even then, Google is scanning those.

    WOW, you actually got Google's Mess system? That's the WORST one of the bunch!!!! Did you read any reviews on MESH systems? Sounds like you blindly just went and got it because it was Google's. It's a pile of crap!!! I would have instead looked at the Eero or the Netgear Orbi. Depending on the house. PC Mag 2018 review have Editor's Choice to the Linksys Velop and the Netgear Orbi. Buying Google?!?! Instead from a company who actually specializes in this area?!?!
    edited April 2018 patchythepiratemacplusplusronnchiamacseekermagman1979pscooter63RobPalmer9fastasleeplostkiwi
  • Reply 12 of 72
    GG1GG1 Posts: 215member
    Zuckerberg can speak like that to Cook but I doubt he'd speak like that to Congress.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 13 of 72
    rochfordrochford Posts: 24member
    georgie01 said:
    Zuckerberg says... "The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer —if our customer was our product,"

    The quote is by Tim Cook, not Zuckerberg.

    SpamSandwichronnchiaspliff monkeyanantksundarambaconstanglostkiwiredgeminipaargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 72
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,864member
    So here we have the leaders of two companies with two vastly different business models poking each other in the eye based on fundamental differences between each company. Okay. Apple is a product and services company that charges customers when they buy the things Apple builds. Facebook is a content delivery company that charges advertisers to interleave their ads into the content. Facebook is essentially a "free" radio or television broadcast model with hundreds of millions of content provider channels, i.e., individuals who post on Facebook, and hundreds of millions of viewers, most of whom are also content providers. Using the radio/television analogy, Apple sells the radios and televisions and Facebook provides (some of) the content that gets played on the radios and television.

    In a sense these two companies have a symbiotic relationship and poking at each other is not a sensible exercise since both companies are benefitting extensively from the relationship. Each company is free to try to capture the entire model themselves and sever the codependency. Apple could attempt to create and maintain a huge social network and Facebook could try to do the same with devices, products, and infrastructure services. We've seen each company make baby steps in such a direction and fail. Amazon is arguably making some inroads in going it alone from both fronts with content delivery on their own devices and you could view Amazon Reviews as somewhat of a social platform, albeit a narrowly focused one. 

    I do believe that both CEOs see themselves as taking the high road on moral, societal, and fundamental human rights issues - at least on a personal level. The slippery slope here is that they are both chief executives at the helm of for-profit enterprises. Bottom-line matters business matters and maintaining profitability, happy shareholders and investors, and painting a pretty picture for Wall Street analysts to see can sometimes strain the strongest moral convictions of a CEO. I do believe that Tim Cook is much more adept than Mark Zuckerberg at balancing the conflicts and promoting a culture where "doing the right thing is ultimately what's best for the business." I'm not so sure about Mark Zuckerberg, who often comes across as clueless and detached from the dirty details of what's happening in the shadows of his company. Tim Cook appears to know what's going on and for the most part gets out in front of problems that impact Apple's position in the world. Mark Zuckerberg is trying to establish a culture and moral compass for Facebook, but he doesn't seem to be doing a very good job of it - yet. The words are there but he's still lacking sincerity and is hard to relate to as a person. Tim should probably mentor him privately rather than poking him in the eye publicly. That would be a win-win.
    edited April 2018 GG1pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 72
    What Bezos was really saying: "There are products that people will pay for and there are products that they won't." 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 72
    FaceBook should have known what CA was planning to do with all of its data.
    It did. It just didn't care.
    ronnmacseekermagman1979lostkiwiredgeminipawatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 72
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,884member
    The arrogance of long-standing privilege when making talking points supposedly standing up for "non-millionaires".

    When did this guy last live as a part of average society? Did he ever actually struggle to get by?

    Is Zuckerburg really trying to appeal to the poor, and to those who would be isolated without the internet? Oh, okay. That's me. I live in social/cultural isolation and in poverty. I need the internet to find any sense of community with my species and I'm just one social security deposit away from being destitute and homeless. I've been lucky in my bad luck, but the republicans and libertarians would love to see me rot in a ditch and they might succeed in making that happen with how they're constantly slandering and sabotaging social support systems and getting people to vote against civilization.

    My opinion about Facebook is the same as billionaire Cook's. I know he's an elitist (however intentional or unintentional on his part). His leadership of Apple demonstrates his elitism. Yet, I fully agree with his position on this topic. I've held this opinion since before Cook was public about his own, so it's not as if Apple has given me my opinion.

    Facebook's users are Facebook's product. The moment advertising becomes the business model, the priority is anything but the comfort, privacy, and preferences of the commodity they deal in.

    Saying Facebook cares about their users is not all that different from saying animal agriculture cares about its cattle.

    The audacity to claim that Facebook is a tool for social networking, and for the non-elite... Everything about Facebook on the user's side is clumsy, intermittently broken, inconsistent, and just plain hostile to communication of any depth.

    Clicking a "like" button (the deeper reactions near constantly broken in mobile browsers) and throwing a one-liner of commentary at people is easy (except for when that's broken, too). Put some effort into a thought by going beyond a couple sentences and the user experience is utterly abysmal.

    I'm not even talking about the nightmare that is the attempt to control the overall experience, either. It's not just the constantly shifting ground of privacy settings; it's everything! Trying to find specific content is almost impossible and the content you are presented is constantly rearranging itself to better serve marketing and data mining. It is the ultimate of "you will have what we give you" elitism.

    Facebook is just one [very bad] tool that can be used to keep track of long-distance friends and acquaintances. We would be better off as a civilization if Facebook were abandoned by everyone and replaced by a system that is paid by subscription (something far less than the exorbitant fees of cable TV) so that it can be built and maintained for the purpose of promoting marketing-bias-free communication, between actual people, for unencumbered social connection online.
    dewmepatchythepirateronnchiaargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 72
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,371member
    vmarks said:
    maestro64 said:
    At one time TV and Radio was always free to everyone, no matter how much you made, everyone was treated the same, media broadcast did not discriminate based on your social economic background, If you could buy a radio or TV or share one with your neighbor you can see free content. This all was supported by advertising. however, at no time did the media companies know anything about you what you did each day, how you spent your time and money.

    So Zuck is claiming there are people who can not afford his product and services unless he know everything about them and then use their formation to target information at them which may or may not be in their own best interest.

    Zuck is really trying hard to get this to blow over, he is hoping in a few weeks people will forget and go back to what they always have been doing which is sharing their information with Zuck so he can make lots of money. If that happen I guess i will jump back in on the stock and also make money off people giving up their privacy.
    Nielsen ratings did come from somewhere, though. Advertisers weren't just throwing dollars at TV spend, they were working on spending on time slots when they knew people would be watching, and more than that, when they knew their target audience would be watching. Soap operas are called that because it was that time of day when the housewife was at home, and they could advertise soap to her.

    Nielsen also paid you. I was Nielsen household for a short period of time and had to fill out the viewing log. Did this for 6 months and Nielson choose not to renew with my household. I eventually figure out why, we did not watch much TV at the time, may be a few hours a week. We had young kids and spent more time with them and their activities than sitting in front of TV. Nielson obvious did not want my data to share with Advertisers because I was not the target audience.

    We then got DirecTV, and DTV always had the ability to know what you watch and when all the time, they did not need you to log your watching habits they knew it better than anyone. Why do you think they required a phone cable to the STB back in the 90's. This was also why DTV was less than most other services, they could advertise better to you.
    edited April 2018 rob53ronnargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 72
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,680member
    If Cook is really concerned about Facebook and Google he could remove all their apps from the App Store. He could replace Google as the default search engine in iOS. And he could tell his teams to make Apple software and services so good no one who owns an Apple device would want to use Gmail, Google Docs or Google Maps.

    i just upgraded my wireless router in my house. I bought a Google mesh system. I would rather have bought something from Apple but they don’t make it so Google it was. And so far it’s been working incredibly well.
    And they're logging everything you do...in typical Google fashion. No thanks! 

    Don't touch ANYTHING GOOGLE with a 100ft pole!!!!
    edited April 2018 patchythepirateronnmacseekermagman1979baconstanglostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 72
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 581member
    dysamoria said:
    The arrogance of long-standing privilege when making talking points supposedly standing up for "non-millionaires".

    When did this guy last live as a part of average society? Did he ever actually struggle to get by?

    Is Zuckerburg really trying to appeal to the poor, and to those who would be isolated without the internet? Oh, okay. That's me. I live in social/cultural isolation and in poverty. I need the internet to find any sense of community with my species and I'm just one social security deposit away from being destitute and homeless. I've been lucky in my bad luck, but the republicans and libertarians would love to see me rot in a ditch and they might succeed in making that happen with how they're constantly slandering and sabotaging social support systems and getting people to vote against civilization.

    My opinion about Facebook is the same as billionaire Cook's. I know he's an elitist (however intentional or unintentional on his part). His leadership of Apple demonstrates his elitism. Yet, I fully agree with his position on this topic. I've held this opinion since before Cook was public about his own, so it's not as if Apple has given me my opinion.

    Facebook's users are Facebook's product. The moment advertising becomes the business model, the priority is anything but the comfort, privacy, and preferences of the commodity they deal in.

    Saying Facebook cares about their users is not all that different from saying animal agriculture cares about its cattle.

    The audacity to claim that Facebook is a tool for social networking, and for the non-elite... Everything about Facebook on the user's side is clumsy, intermittently broken, inconsistent, and just plain hostile to communication of any depth.

    Clicking a "like" button (the deeper reactions near constantly broken in mobile browsers) and throwing a one-liner of commentary at people is easy (except for when that's broken, too). Put some effort into a thought by going beyond a couple sentences and the user experience is utterly abysmal.

    I'm not even talking about the nightmare that is the attempt to control the overall experience, either. It's not just the constantly shifting ground of privacy settings; it's everything! Trying to find specific content is almost impossible and the content you are presented is constantly rearranging itself to better serve marketing and data mining. It is the ultimate of "you will have what we give you" elitism.

    Facebook is just one [very bad] tool that can be used to keep track of long-distance friends and acquaintances. We would be better off as a civilization if Facebook were abandoned by everyone and replaced by a system that is paid by subscription (something far less than the exorbitant fees of cable TV) so that it can be built and maintained for the purpose of promoting marketing-bias-free communication, between actual people, for unencumbered social connection online.
    Tim Cook is a billionaire?
    watto_cobra
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