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Meta criticizes Apple for ‘undercutting others’ with advertising policies

Meta Platforms Inc. criticized Apple Inc. for changing the terms of the App Store to take a slice of social media ad revenue, saying the iPhone maker was “undermining others in the digital economy.”

The policy change, announced this week, requires users and advertisers to make an in-app purchase when they pay to “boost” posts on apps like TikTok and Meta’s Instagram. Apple takes a whopping 30% commission on in-app purchases, meaning a company like Meta would lose some of its ad revenue to the iPhone maker.

“Apple previously said it had no share of developer ad revenue, and has apparently changed its mind now,” Meta, which also owns Facebook and WhatsApp, said in a statement Tuesday. “We remain committed to providing small businesses with easy ways to serve ads and grow their business with our apps.”

Apple, which is building its own ad company, said requiring an in-app purchase for boosts is just an extension of its existing policy — and that other apps are already complying.

“For many years, it has been clear in App Store guidelines that the sale of digital goods and services within an app must use in-app purchases,” the company said in a statement. Boosting, which allows an individual or organization to pay to increase the reach of a post or profile, is a digital service – so naturally in-app purchase is required. It’s always been that way and there are many examples of apps that do that. do it successfully.”

Other social media companies with the ability to promote posts, including TikTok and Twitter Inc., also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Under Apple’s policy, apps that are solely for the purpose of letting marketers buy ads and manage campaigns across media — for example, television and billboards, in addition to apps — aren’t required to cut Apple spending. But “digital purchases for content experienced or consumed in an app, including buying ads to display in the same app (such as selling ‘boosts’ for posts in a social media app), must include in-app purchases.” purchases,” the company says. said.

For example, if an influencer pays Instagram to promote a personal message to more viewers via the iPhone app, Apple would cut costs under the new rules. The social media companies have not yet said how they will comply with the change.

Social media companies are already reeling from the impact of recent privacy changes to Apple’s iOS software, which require companies to ask users for explicit consent to collect data about them. Meta, which relies on such data to better target ads, has said the change will cut $10 billion from this year’s revenue.

Still, the boosts policy could be the first time Apple will receive a portion of the ad revenue directly. Apple has previously touted advertising as an area where developers can monetize as much as they want from their customers.

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