“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,” the Apple update reads.
This means that all apps now have to use the in-app purchases tool for boosts and promoted posts, which will give Apple a 30 percent cut of all of those sales. As Gizmodo reported, this seems to be pretty obviously aimed directly at Meta.
Boosts and promoted posts are all over most apps. For instance, you likely see promoted tweets — in which a user can pay to have a tweet seen on more screens — on Twitter with a reasonable frequency. But for some time, it’s been unclear if the app store can take a cut from boosts and promoted posts. Apps that sell virtual goods have to use the App Store’s payment system, which comes with a fat service charge, but that hasn’t always necessarily included boosts and promoted posts, so Meta could take payments and avoid Apple’s fee. Now, that’s over.
The only loophole around this hefty fee is for apps that are specifically designed for advertising.
“Apps for the sole purpose of allowing advertisers (persons or companies that advertise a product, service, or event) to purchase and manage advertising campaigns across media types (television, outdoor, websites, apps, etc.) do not need to use in-app purchase,” Apple says.
This will undoubtedly enrage Meta but, hey, the Meta and Apple have always been hostile as hell to each other. This just adds fuel to the already massive bonfire that is their relationship.