Like all developers, Facebook too is bound to pay 30% commission for selling products on the app on the App Store. However, the social media giant wanted to protest against that payment that in a recent update. In the update of a new online events feature, the platform wanted to include the following disclaimer when charging consumers’ $9.99 fee for using its service to host online events.
Under the payment tab, the information disclaimer reads, “Apple takes 30% of this purchase.” As the expected outcome, Apple blocked the update claiming it violated App Store’s rule by showing “irrelevant” information. Facebook’s decision to update this information is very similar to another developer, Epic Games who recently took to the next step in agitation over App Store 30% commission rate by rolling out Epic direct payment method on Fortnite iOS app which resulted in the removal of the game from the store.
Apple Blocks Facebook’s New Update
The new feature is designed as a means to earn revenue for small businesses and influencers who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As lockdown and precautionary health measures of social distancing deterred physical-economic activities, the social media platform wants the affected businesses to continue earning capital online. Unfortunately, this goodwill feature was being offered at Apple’s expense which the Cupertino tech giant did not approve of.
To join the online events, users would buy tickets directly through the app and Facebook claims that it planned to pass on all revenue of the events to the business owners if Apple agreed to waive off the 30% revenue share. The social media giant told Reuters that Apple declined its request and said,
“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes. Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.”
However, the publisher did not find any information of Apple’s 30% fee and Facebook’s intention to not collect a fee for ticket sales on the app’s Android version on Google Play. Unlike Epic, the social platform removed the information by has been vocal about the rejection.
Besides this, the platform has over dissatisfaction with Apple over App Store policy. Recently, the company launched the Facebook Gaming app without games on iOS because the iPhone maker did not approve mini-games’ distribution design which violated the digital store’s policy rule 4.7. The newly released iOS 14 privacy features which not only notify the users when an app is tracking their data but also forces developers to ‘ask permission’ to use their data.
BuzzFeed News reported that CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg attacked the iPhone maker in an internal meeting with 50,000 employees. Zuckerberg said that Apple has “this unique stranglehold as a gatekeeper on what gets on phones. It blocks innovation, blocks competition, and allows Apple to charge monopoly rents.”
From a consumer’s point of view, Zuckerberg’s frustration over being regulated and restricted from doing what he wills is obvious in this statement. With a very questionable profile of his own in tracking and storing users’ data without consent and knowledge, this stance to establish a moral high ground does not sit in well with us. These billion dollars companies, Facebook and Epic, are lashing out for paying a sum of money which they charge consumers for their services.
Apple not only defends its 30% commission rate but also strictly imposes it as well. Which company do you agree with, let us know in the comments section.