If Mark Zuckberg’s interview in TIME magazine is any indication, the nerd wars between free online services and expensive Chinese-manufactured products are firing up. The Jesse Eisenberg lookalike responded to comments by Apple CEO Tim Cook in an open letter to customers regarding their cloud services security snafu. Cook never named Facebook or Zuckerberg specifically, but the latter got a hint and took the letter’s sentiments to heart. Here’s Cook’s offending passage:
A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.
Free online services were Cook’s target, and since no Facebook users pay for the privilege of sharing their political diatribes with friends and family, Facebook falls within the crosshairs (Hence why users regularly contend with offbeat targeted ads). Zuckerberg took this to heart and responded accordingly in the interview:
A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers. I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!
What’s interesting to note is who makes up Zuckerberg’s intended audience. On the one hand, his initial “lot of people” sounds like he means Apple and other companies, but the “you” of the third and fourth sentences sounds more like non-Facebook customers. Interesting, especially since I’m pretty sure Zuckerberg uses Apple products himself. Is he being self deprecating?
Whatever the case, I can’t wait for film adaptation of Zuckerberg and Cook’s spat, The Social Network 2: The Networkening. Who should play Cook?