The two Silicon Valley giants Facebook and Apple have had problems with each other in the past. Most recently, the two companies argued over Apple’s new iPhone operating system iOS 14.5, which allows users to prevent data collection – a change that could affect Facebook’s business model.
However, Apple is currently fighting a different battle: At the moment, the computer and video game developer “Epic Games” is taking legal action against the iPhone company – it is about the allegation that Apple is discriminating against “Epic Games” through the rules in its app store. As part of the process, the software company also revealed an explosive email exchange from 2011: In it, three former, high-ranking Apple people – including Steve Jobs – argue over the Facebook app on the Apple iPad. The mail history was initially published as part of the Apple Epic process, but has now been deleted from the network.
Dispute over integrated apps
The mails begin, as “CNBC” reports, with a message from the then Apple software boss Scott Forstall, which he addressed to Steve Jobs and the then Apple marketing director Phil Schiller. In it he writes that when he spoke to “Mark” – which is probably Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – he was talking about the Facebook app for the iPad. Forstall reports that he told Zuckerberg that Facebook should not integrate any “embedded apps” into its iPad apps. Zuckerberg was not happy about that.
To put it into perspective: At the time, Facebook was trying to become a platform for games and apps. The most famous product from this phase is probably the game Farmville, in which the users cultivated virtual gardens within their Facebook accounts.
“Scheißbooks third suggestion”
So it’s not surprising that Facebook disagreed with Apple’s ban on embedded apps. So, as Forstall writes, Mark Zuckerberg made some compromise proposals – they could also be called demands. Number three on the list of these suggestions was this: The Facebook CEO wanted Apple to allow posts from users who referred to apps like Farmville – a kind of advertising. According to Scott Forstall, such posts were not possible at the time because they were filtered out by Apple.
Steve Jobs then responded with contempt to this demand from Zuckerberg. From his iPad, he replied to his software boss, Forstall: “I agree – if we cross out fucking books’ third suggestion, that sounds reasonable.”
Regular feuds between Apple and Facebook
According to the “CNBC” report, Forstall wrote back three days later that one could imagine banning Facebook apps, forwarding links to Safari and keeping users in the app. A suggestion that Zuckerberg is said not to have agreed with either. In the end, the dispute between the two tech giants resulted in a compromise solution.
Facebook and Apple are still fighting regularly. For example, “CNBC” reports that Facebook is publicly lamenting how much Apple’s privacy settings are damaging to small businesses. However, Facebook is not involved in the legal dispute between “Epic Games” and Apple.