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Meta unhappy with Apple App Store ad payment rule change

Meta has voiced its displeasure with a new App Store ad rule change instigated by Apple.

Apple and Meta don’t get along well at the best of times, but a new update to Apple’s App Store rules on Monday has really thrown the cat among the pigeons.

Under the new guidelines, Apple now stipulates that “Digital purchases for content that is experienced or consumed in an app, including buying advertisements to display in the same app (such as sales of “boosts” for posts in a social media app) must use in-app purchase.

Essentially, this means that apps such as Facebook and Instagram must now funnel their post-boosting payments through Apple’s own in-app purchase system, thus giving Apple a 30% cut of all such payments made on iOS.

Needless to say, Meta is not happy with this turn of events. Meta spokesperson Tom Channick told The Verge that “Apple continues to evolve its policies to grow their own business while undercutting others in the digital economy.”

“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.”

Apple’s response is that it has always insisted that “digital goods and services” be sold through its in-app purchase system. “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 required,” said Apple spokesperson Peter Ajemian. “This has always been the case and there are many examples of apps that do it successfully.”

It’s worth noting that while other prominent social media apps such as Twitter and TikTok also offer the ability to boost posts through payments, they already use Apple’s in-app payment system. It’s difficult to escape the notion, then, that Apple is directly targeting Meta with these latest rule amendments.

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