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What the Privacy Battle Upending the Internet Means for You

  • September 17, 2021

That could result in a “fragmentation” of the web, where people see different versions of the internet depending on the browsers they use, Mr. Eich said.

The good news is that you will have more privacy online because of Apple’s changes.

But there’s a trade-off. Ultimately, many online products and services may cost more.

Today, small brands can spend a modest amount to target specific customers with ads across different websites and apps. But since this type of tracking can now be blocked on Apple devices, small companies may have to choose big brands like Facebook, Google and Etsy and advertise within each of those platforms.

In other words, businesses may be forced to spend more to advertise their products across multiple properties. Those higher costs would then be passed on to you, leading to price increases.

This is already happening. Chantal Ebanks, the owner of an online beauty supply shop, Bella Chauni, said that after Apple’s new ad blocking went into effect, her digital promotions on Facebook’s ad network no longer reached as many customers. As a result, her sales shriveled from thousands of dollars a month to hundreds. To compensate, Ms. Ebanks raised the price for a popular hair care product to $13.98 from $9.99 and is testing ads on other platforms like Pinterest.

Eric Seufert, a marketing strategist, predicted that more iPhone apps would move away from trying to make money off ads. He said they would start charging people for subscriptions or extras inside apps.

The shift to subscriptions has happened for a while, but it’s expected to accelerate. Between 2017 and 2020, the portion of top video games offering subscriptions in Apple’s U.S. App Store grew to 18 percent from 11 percent, according to a study by SensorTower, a mobile app research firm.

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