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On Facebook and Instagram, Meta Touts New Way for Small Advertisers to Avoid Apple’s Fees

Meta Platforms Inc. released new guidelines for small businesses that advertise on Facebook and Instagram, aiming to help them get around fees imposed by Apple Inc.

By: BLOOMBERG
Updated on: Feb 16 2024, 07:14 IST
Meta Platforms Inc. has released guidelines advising small businesses. (unsplash)

 Meta Platforms Inc. released new guidelines for small businesses that advertise on Facebook and Instagram, aiming to help them get around fees imposed by Apple Inc. 

Meta is advising the companies to buy ads through a web browser, rather than on the Facebook or Instagram iOS apps, according to guidance released Thursday. That will help them avoid an Apple commission that Meta said would take effect this month. 

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Apple’s new policy requires advertisers to make an in-app purchase whenever they pay to “boost” social media posts — a move that gives them more exposure. Apple takes a cut of as much as 30% on in-app purchases in its iOS software, meaning that Meta will lose a portion of its ad revenue to the iPhone maker. 

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The policy change was first announced by Apple in 2022. The move ratcheted up tension between the tech giants, which have become two of Silicon Valley’s biggest adversaries in recent years. At the time, Meta accused the company of “undercutting others in the digital economy.” Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has also frequently criticized Apple for wielding too much control over its App Store.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, meanwhile, has been a vocal detractor of the privacy practices at Meta, which relies on user data to sell ads. Previous Apple changes have hit Meta in the pocketbook. In 2021, an iOS tweak that limited third-party data collection led to an estimated $10 billion loss in ad revenue for Meta.

The iPhone maker has drawn broader criticism for its policies, with companies like Spotify Technology SA and Fortnite maker Epic Games Inc. saying App Store rules are unfair. The company recently overhauled its approach in Europe to comply with new regional legislation, though those changes have brought further outcry. 

Apple’s new policy takes effect in the US first, before rolling out to other countries later this year. The change will also require advertisers to pay for ads upfront when buying them through an iOS app. The change will largely affect Meta’s smaller advertisers, some of whom use boosted posts as their only form of advertising, Meta said.

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First Published Date: 16 Feb, 07:14 IST
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