Meta Guides Small Businesses to Navigate Apple’s App Store Fees through New Strategies

In response to Apple Inc.’s new policy imposing fees on advertising within its ecosystem, Meta Platforms Inc. has released guidelines for small businesses advertising on Facebook and Instagram. The guidance suggests that companies buy ads through a web browser instead of the Facebook or Instagram iOS apps to bypass the Apple commission set to take effect this month.

Apple’s policy change requires advertisers to use its In-App Purchase feature for paying to “boost” social media posts, resulting in a commission of up to 30% on app purchases in its iOS software. Meta aims to help small businesses avoid this commission by recommending ad purchases through a web browser.

The ongoing tension between Meta and Apple escalated with the announcement of Apple’s boosting policy in 2022. Meta accused Apple of “undercutting others in the digital economy,” and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has criticized Apple for exerting excessive control over its App Store.

Apple defends its policy, asserting that treating boosts as an In-App Purchase aligns with its longstanding App Store approach. Apple CEO Tim Cook, a vocal critic of Meta’s privacy practices, emphasizes the importance of In-App Purchase for digital goods and services within apps.

This clash follows previous incidents where Apple’s changes, such as limiting third-party data collection in 2021, led to substantial ad revenue losses for Meta. Apple’s new policy, effective first in the U.S. before expanding globally, impacts Meta’s smaller advertisers who rely on boosted posts as their primary form of advertising. The ongoing scrutiny of Apple’s App Store rules extends beyond Meta, with companies like Spotify and Epic Games criticizing the fairness of these regulations.

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