Facebook will be allowing creators on its platform to share custom web links for fans to pay for subscriptions on Facebook’s native pay system, The Verge reported.
This will effectively allow parent company Meta to shirk the Apple App Store’s 30% tax on in-app transactions, according to the report. Fans who sign up for a subscription will help the creator keep all the money paid, minus taxes.
Facebook is now in a “gray zone” under Apple’s rules, the report stated. A spokesperson told The Verge that the social network believes it’s allowed to do this on iOS, however. Apple’s rules make it so iOS apps cannot offer other payment options to buy items digitally, but Facebook’s current model makes it so that the content creator rather than app developer — Facebook itself — sends people to pay for a subscription online.
According to the spokesperson, per the report, the social network won’t be taking away the ability for users to subscribe via Apple’s own payment system either.
The report stated that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the reason for all of this is to make it easier for creators to monetize.
“As we build for the metaverse, we’re focused on unlocking opportunities for creators to make money from their work,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “The 30% fees that Apple takes on transactions make it harder to do that, so we’re updating our Subscriptions product so now creators can earn more.”
Facebook’s subscription feature allows creators to charge on a recurring basis and lets fans have access to exclusive content, according to the report. It’s available in 27 countries and lets creators meeting certain eligibility standards use it.
Apple’s App Store fees have been the subject of controversy before. A court battle between Apple and Epic Games has been going on since 2020.
Apple booted Epic’s popular Fortnite game off its platform for using its own payment system rather than Apple’s.
As of late October, Apple said it objects to a ruling from an antitrust court making it so the company has to allow buttons and links for outside payments.