Apple and Meta's latest fight is over social media boosted post fees on iPhone

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in iOS

Meta's suggesting that users should purchase boosted posts outside of the App Store in order to avoid a 30% fee has drawn Apple's ire with it now accusing Meta of attempting to evade fees it knew was coming for over a year.

Credit: Meta
Credit: Meta



There's been a lot said about Apple's 30% commission fee, and it's not always immediately clear what it applies to. One thing we do know, though, is that starting in February, sponsored or "boosted" posts will be subjected to that same charge.

Meta, the company that owns platforms like Facebook and Instagram, has started informing its users that they should purchase sponsored posts outside the App Store to avoid a 30% upcharge.

"The Apple service charge is a result of updates Apple made to the App Store Review Guidelines," reads the Meta announcement.

"Starting later this month, when an advertiser uses the Facebook or Instagram iOS app to Boost a post, they will be billed through Apple, which retains a 30% service charge on the total ad payment, before any applicable taxes. This service charge is retained by Apple, not Meta."

Meta goes on to say that it is "committed to offering businesses flexible and convenient options." Specifically, it directs customers to purchase boosts outside the App Store.

According to Meta, boosted posts purchased through the App Store must be prepaid. This will require a customer to add prepaid funds to their accounts within Facebook or Instagram, which will be drawn from to boost a post.

But if someone prefers working from the iOS app, Meta has a solution. Advertisers can instead head to Instagram.com or Facebook.com to add prepaid funds to their accounts -- without the 30% service charge -- and use those funds from within the Facebook or Instagram apps.

Apple's fees apply to digital items, like social media boosts



Apple, for its part, doesn't think that this is a particularly altruistic move that Meta's making. Instead, the company says it believes this is Meta's attempt to skirt paying Apple its cut.

It claims that Meta is aware of the guidelines, and that it's given the company over a year to bring its practices in line with the App Store Guidelines. It's not clear why Facebook was allowed to skirt them for so long, when other developers were hit on the first day of the review guidelines coming into play.

It also notes that Meta has an existing app, the "Meta Ads Manager," which allows customers to set up and pay for ads using alternative payment methods. This allows customers to purchase boosted posts and advertisements without relying on In-App purchases already.

In a statement to AppleInsider and other venues, Apple has clarified its stance on the boosted posts being a digital service, and subject to the fees.

"We have always required that purchases of digital goods and services within apps 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 required. This has always been the case and there are many examples of apps that do it successfully."



Warning customers of these additional charges is hardly new. Spotify, for example, removed the ability for customers to pay for their subscriptions through the App Store in 2023.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Really Meta would have to boost their charge by 43% to come out even after the 30% fee since (1.43)(0.7)=1.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    I’m not a Meta fan, in no way shape or form. But I have a hard time finding a tear for Apple’s dramatic stance. If Apple thinks that managing fees has a cost, then they should simply stop requiring that developers use their transactional platform. Less use, less transactions, less costs overall. Stop forcing developers to use Apple transactional platform and leave reimbursements to the developers. The current system doesn’t adequately protect customers anyway as abusive developers still manage to charge abusive fees without Apple even batting an eye. 
    edited February 15 muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 11
    pascal007 said:
    I’m not a Meta fan, in no way shape or form. But I have a hard time finding a tear for Apple’s dramatic stance. If Apple thinks that managing fees has a cost, then they should simply stop requiring that developers use their transactional platform. Less use, less transactions, less costs overall. Stop forcing developers to use Apple transactional platform and leave reimbursements to the developers. The current system doesn’t adequately protect customers anyway as abusive developers still manage to charge abusive fees without Apple even batting an eye. 
    Why don’t developers build their own phones, own online stores, give away their apps and then stop complaining and shut up. Most of the apps these days are crap and should not be in existence. I see the management fee as a way of quality control to weed out the trash. 
    davdanoxwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,013member
    pascal007 said:
    I’m not a Meta fan, in no way shape or form. But I have a hard time finding a tear for Apple’s dramatic stance. If Apple thinks that managing fees has a cost, then they should simply stop requiring that developers use their transactional platform. Less use, less transactions, less costs overall. Stop forcing developers to use Apple transactional platform and leave reimbursements to the developers. The current system doesn’t adequately protect customers anyway as abusive developers still manage to charge abusive fees without Apple even batting an eye. 
    So let’s charge profit making entities a sales or install cost for their apps instead. So Facebook would have to pay Apple to carry their free app.  

    Apps in-app purchase fees are a way to get paid for the service provided by the App Store and iOS itself.   Distributing Facebook for meta has enormous cost.  
    ForumPostdavdanoxwilliamlondondewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    So... Meta signed up. for in-app purchases. Then they donn't want to have to pay? 

    LOL.

    This frivolous. crap. has to. stop. sometimes. The courts should. start fining companies that try. to weasel out of contracts they've signed just because they. don't want to. honor. a. contract,
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    pascal007 said:
    I’m not a Meta fan, in no way shape or form. But I have a hard time finding a tear for Apple’s dramatic stance. If Apple thinks that managing fees has a cost, then they should simply stop requiring that developers use their transactional platform. Less use, less transactions, less costs overall. Stop forcing developers to use Apple transactional platform and leave reimbursements to the developers. The current system doesn’t adequately protect customers anyway as abusive developers still manage to charge abusive fees without Apple even batting an eye. 
    Meta doesn’t have to use IAP. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,414member
    longfang said:
    Meta doesn’t have to use IAP. 
    They do if people want to pay for a boost within the app. Them's the rules.

    Meta's free to offer boosts on their own site, but through the FB app they have to pay Apple.

    I notice that FB doesn't do the obvious thing and discount boosts by 30 percent lF they buy them from the FB site ... hmmmm ... seems like an obvious way to attract buyers to use the site rather than the app ... wonder why they don't do that? :wink: 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    chasm said:
    longfang said:
    Meta doesn’t have to use IAP. 
    They do if people want to pay for a boost within the app. Them's the rules.

    Meta's free to offer boosts on their own site, but through the FB app they have to pay Apple.

    I notice that FB doesn't do the obvious thing and discount boosts by 30 percent lF they buy them from the FB site ... hmmmm ... seems like an obvious way to attract buyers to use the site rather than the app ... wonder why they don't do that? :wink: 

    So it’s not a requirement to use IAP they just want to utilize it for the extra sales without abiding by the conditions of doing so. Aka having their cake and eating it too. So screw FB. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    If Facebook is gonna pull that move they better make the website version actually functional. Like how can you only have access to 20% of functions using the website, iPad app, and the windows and mac apps. I want to use instagram to actually view messages not have to open the iphone app
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,097member
    So... Meta signed up. for in-app purchases. Then they donn't want to have to pay? 

    LOL.

    This frivolous. crap. has to. stop. sometimes. The courts should. start fining companies that try. to weasel out of contracts they've signed just because they. don't want to. honor. a. contract,
    The Gentry 1% class doesn't have to honor contacts that only applies to the pleasant class.....
    watto_cobra
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