Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg criticizes Apple on Clubhouse

Facebook has been publicly sparring with Apple over an upcoming privacy update that's expected to impact the social network's ad business.

Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
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Queenie Wong
2 min read

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 

James Martin

The public feud between Facebook and Apple keeps heating up. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made it clear before he isn't happy with Apple's upcoming privacy update that will prompt users to give apps, including the social network he co-founded, permission to track their activity across other apps and the web. Apple, on the other hand, has said the change is meant to give users more control over their data. Apple is expected to roll out the change in early spring. 

On Thursday, Zuckerberg reiterated his concerns about Apple's update in a discussion on the invite-only audio app Clubhouse, noting the update could harm small businesses and developers more than Facebook, which makes billions of dollars from ads every quarter.

"The reality is that I'm confident that we're gonna be able to manage through that situation well and we'll be in a good position. I think it's possible that we may even be in a stronger position if Apple's changes encourage more businesses to conduct commerce on our platforms," he said. Zuckerberg expects, though, that small businesses and developers will have a harder time navigating through the changes. 


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made an appearance on Clubhouse on Thursday. It was the second time he's participated in an interview on the invite-only audio app. 

Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

Facebook isn't the only company that has a beef with Apple. Zuckerberg was joined by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, who brought up that the music streaming service filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission in 2019. The complaint partly centers on the 30% cut Apple takes from all in-app purchases.

"My view is that this is very damaging, not only to Spotify, but the entire kind of broader ecosystem of app developers and creators and this is also why we filed the formal complaint," Ek said.

Building off Ek's comments, Zuckerberg added that Facebook had "to go back and forth for a long time with Apple" to prevent the iPhone maker from taking a cut from a news product Facebook built and other features during the pandemic that the social network didn't take a revenue share from. "I do think that this is a big issue," he said.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. In November, Apple said it'd lower its App Store commission to 15% for small businesses earning up to $1 million per year as part of a new program.

Zuckerberg and Ek were participating in a show on Clubhouse called PressClub hosted by Josh Constine, head of content at the San Francisco venture capital firm SignalFire.