March 28, 2023
Facebook accuses Apple of 'undermining others' with App Store guidelines on boosted posts

Facebook accuses Apple of ‘undermining others’ with App Store guidelines on boosted posts

Along with the launch of iOS 16.1, Apple updated its App Store guidelines to make it clear that apps like Facebook that offer “boosts” for posts and other advertising content must use in-app purchases for those features. . Facebook’s parent company Meta isn’t happy with Apple’s change in guidelines, and in a statement to The edgesaid Apple was creating policies to strengthen its own business while undermining others.

“Apple continues to evolve its policies to grow its own business while undermining others in the digital economy. Apple has previously said it doesn’t take a cut of ad revenue from developers, and now apparently has changed its mind. We remain committed to providing small businesses with ways to serve ads and grow their business on our apps.”

Facebook allows businesses and individuals to pay to “boost” a post that is performing well, introducing it to more viewers and potential customers. Prior to the guidelines update, Apple repeatedly stated that digital content sold in apps must be sold through in-app purchases, but Facebook did not follow this rule.

When boosting a post in the Facebook app for iOS, in-app purchase is not required. A boosted post is paid for via credit card, debit card, PayPal, or bank account, which means Apple doesn’t get a share of the money businesses and advertisers pay to Facebook. Instagram also uses direct purchase, but other social media networks like Twitter and TikTok use in-app purchases for similar post boost functionality.

Facebook and Instagram have used the same direct purchase option for boosts for years, and Apple let Meta off the hook. The Wall Street Journalin fact, detailed the private dispute between Apple and Meta over the matter in August.

While Apple had rules around digital purchases prior to the revamped guidelines, the new wording specifically calls out boosted posts, though the text is listed at the bottom of a rule about ad management apps that don’t show boosted posts. advertisements themselves.

“Ad Management Applications: Applications for the sole purpose of allowing advertisers (persons or companies who advertise a product, service or event) to purchase and manage advertising campaigns on all types of media (television , outdoor, websites, apps, etc.) need to use in-app purchase. These apps are for campaign management purposes and do not display ads themselves. Digital purchases for content that is experienced or consumed within an app, including purchasing advertisements for display within the same app (such as sales of “boosts” for posts within a social media app) must use in-app purchase.”

An Apple spokesperson confirmed The edge that Apple previously had a clear directive requiring digital goods and services to use in-app purchases, but there was no explanation as to why Apple changed the wording of the directive, or why Facebook was not obliged to comply.

“For many years, App Store guidelines have made it clear that the sale of digital goods and services within an app must use in-app purchase. Boosting, which allows an individual or organization to pay to increase the reach of a post or profile , is a digital service — so of course in-app purchase is necessary. It has always been the case and there are many examples of apps that do this with hit.

It’s unclear whether the guidelines changes implemented yesterday represent Apple taking a tougher stance against Facebook and Instagram, but if Apple starts taking a cut from boosted posts, Facebook will likely pass the additional cost on to individuals and businesses. companies that use the boost feature. .

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