A new Facebook service that lets users subscribe to content publishers will be unavailable to iPhone owners, according to a new report.
Right now, Facebook is working on a new feature that lets users subscribe to publishers, allowing them to access premium content hidden behind paywalls. It’s an easy way to help publishers generate revenue through Facebook, in an age where social media services are often blamed for increasingly difficult-to-monetise content generation.
But although we’re expecting to see this tool roll out on Android phones – like the Samsung Galaxy S8 – in the future, it seems that owners of Apple’s iPhone handsets – including the new iPhone 8 – won’t be so fortunate.
According to a report from Recode, Facebook has found itself at odds with Apple’s policy of slicing off chunks of revenue generated within App Store apps. Apparently, Apple wants “to take as much as 30% of any subscription revenue Facebook helps generate”, while Facebook reportedly wants all of the money to go directly to publishers.
“People familiar with both companies say they’ve been discussing the impasse for months,” the report reads, adding that an Android version will roll out “in the next few weeks” with content from publishers like the Washington Post, Hearst, and Tronc.
The problem is that while Facebook’s call for users to sign up to a subscription actually happens outside of the app, on a publisher’s own website, Apple believes that because the road to the purchase began in the app, Apple should get a cut of the revenue.
Apple enforces this rule to ensure that app makers don’t redirect customers to websites rather than offering in-app transactions as a method of avoiding the surcharge.
It’s not clear when, if ever, this issue will be resolved.
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