Facebook Is Using Subscription Links To Avoid Apple’s App Store Fees



Facebook is making custom subscription weblinks available to creators, allowing them to avoid having to pay up to 30% in-app purchase fees.

Facebook creators will now be able to direct users to a website allowing them to complete subscriptions via Facebook Pay and avoid fees set out by Apple. Not only does Facebook offer creators a massive platform to interact with audience members and subscribers, but it has previously committed to not collecting fees from subscriptions until at least 2023.

Facebook has had its fair share of regulatory scrutiny and privacy issues over the years and one of the latest is the company’s recently announced Metaverse. Considering the Metaverse is going to rely on mixed reality technologies and combine personal data, communications and even shopping, there are concerns about how all of this information will be collected and shared. All of which suggests that, whether the company is called Facebook or Meta, users and regulators will continue to scrutinize how it operates.

Related: Facebook Didn’t Invent The Metaverse, And Metaverse Pioneers Aren’t Happy

With that said, starting today Facebook is helping creators avoid Apple’s App Store fees and ensure they get 100-percent of their earnings, excluding taxes. According to the blog post, the company is now offering custom links that creators can provide potential subscribers with. These links direct the consumer to a website where the subscription can be paid for using Facebook Pay. As this link method also works on mobile devices, users won’t have to go through Apple or Google’s own in-app payment solutions to complete their purchase. For reference, Facebook is also paying a bonus of anywhere between $5 and $20 for every subscriber a creator gets before the end of this year. The bonus program is available in all 27 markets Subscriptions are available in, but it is invite-only and capped at $10,000 per creator.

Perfect Timing From Facebook

Apple App Store logo against a dark background

Apple charges 30-percent for the first year and 15-percent thereafter for most developers using its in-app purchase solution. Google only charges 15-percent from the start. Google also allows third-party app stores on Android, making it easier for developers to indirectly avoid the charge imposed by Google. Apple does not allow third-party developers to use third-party payment systems, at least not yet. In a ruling earlier this year, Apple was ordered to allow developers to link to third-party payment systems that are outside of the App Store. It’ll be interesting to see how many users chose to tap a link and pay instead of the one-tap in-app purchase solution Apple currently has in place.

Despite the criticism that is often leveled at Facebook, this appears to be a positive move, even if it’s walking a fine line with Apple’s App Store rules. The more money Facebook can get in the hands of creators, the happier they will be. In the future, Facebook also plans to launch a new estimated earnings breakdown page that’ll allow creators to see where users are purchasing subscriptions and how much of that is going to Apple and Google.

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Source: Facebook

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