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Apples iOS 14 privacy feature could benefit Facebook, says Mark Zuckerberg

Discord had reportedly been talking to Microsoft about an acquisition. Apple has been spotted testing tags in the App Store that will help guide users to more precise search results. The test, simplygram first reported by MacRumors, had users encounter tags at the top of App Store search results when searching for popular terms like “photos” or “wallpaper,” that could help narrow results.

The actions of these companies nonetheless threaten to put Apple in a difficult position. Zuckerberg on Thursday said that already Facebook has 1 million active shops on its services and 250 million people using shops actively. 💰 London mobile game studio Tripledot Studios raised $78 million in its first institutional round from Eldridge, Access Industries and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The studio’s games, which include classic titles like Solitaire and Blackjack, have an active user base of 11 million, up from 6 million six months ago. 💰 Design startup Canva, which offers its service across both web and mobile, raised $71 million more in funding, valuing its business at $15 billion.

So the ad ID non-announcement was perhaps a reaction to that, but considering how low key it was, I’m not sure. My impression at the time, just a couple of weeks ago, that it was pretty weak tea with the exception of the Bluetooth thing, and that they were saying as little as possible with as many words as possible. Not that any of it is bad, but all of it is craftily designed to walk up to the line where they begin to lose a lot of data, and stop there. In the process, vacuum up data about users both actively and passively. At times, it seems to bore them, but they understand that it is one of the key lynchpins of their ecosystem, and a key source of data.

There will also be a lot of ways to get around this for developers, though some have been foreclosed by other changes Google announced for Android 12 at I/O 2021. They are hurting themselves a bit, but mostly Facebook and the rest of the digital ad world. VR is often referred to as the “next big computing platform,” but next isn’t a helpful timeframe. Is next soon enough to arrest the potentially severe damage inflicted on Facebook’s advertising revenues by ATT? And more importantly, in this VR-enabled future, is it Facebook that dominates the consumer market for hardware and content, or is it some other company? Too many open questions exist around the future of VR to assume that Facebook’s VR business compensates for impending damage to its advertising revenue.

Apple’s upcoming privacy changes will inform users about device ID tracking and ask them if they want to allow it. The tracking is based on a unique device identifier on every iPhone and iPad called the IDFA. Companies that sell mobile advertisements use this ID to help target ads and estimate their effectiveness. 💰 Indian conversational messaging platform Gupshup raised $100 million from Tiger Global, valuing its business at $1.4 billion.