Apple has updated its App Store rules to require that iOS developers use in-app purchases – effectively giving Apple 30 per cent of all post boosts on social media apps.
Meta, unsurprisingly is fuming. Zuck’s firm has seen this as a direct scalping of their money as Apple will now take a cut every time someone chooses to boost their posts on Facebook or Instagram. It is the first time that Apple has applied this kind of direct charge on advertising.
“Apple continues to evolve its policies to grow their own business while undercutting others in the digital economy,” said company spokespersonTom Channick.
“Apple previously said it didn’t take a share of developer advertising revenue, and now apparently changed its mind. We remain committed to offering small businesses simple ways to run ads and grow their businesses on our apps.”
Twitter, TikTok, and other social media apps that allow users and brands to sponsor posts currently use Apple’s in-app purchasing system. Meta, meanwhile, is the only company that has steadfastly refused to join Apple’s in-app bandwagon.
However, the move from Apple constitutes an “about-face,” according to The Verge. Last May App Store boss Phil Schiller testified that the company had never taken a cut of iOS developer ad revenue.
At present, it’s not clear whether the additional ‘Apple tax’ will be passed onto brands and advertisers. Meta insiders told The Verge’s Alex Heath that the new policy should not have a material impact on the company’s revenue.
They are, however, concerned that Apple will require the same rules for Meta’s standalone ads manager app. As it stands, the app is exempt from the change to in-app purchases because the ads that are bought aren’t displayed in the app itself – unlike buying an ad or boosting a post in Instagram or Facebook directly.
“By inserting itself into the social media post boosting process and extracting a 30 percent fee, Apple is reducing the effectiveness of advertising spend for small businesses and influencers,” said industry analyst Eric Seufert.
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