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Facebook Delays Taking a Cut on Paid Events and Fan Subscriptions till 2023

Facebook Delays Taking a Cut on Paid Events and Fan Subscriptions till 2023

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not happy with Apple, and he’s not afraid to call them out by name in airing his grievances.

As you can see here, Zuckerberg has today announced that its creator revenue tools, including paid online events, fan subscriptions and badges, will remain free for creators to use up until 2023.

Facebook announced that these tools would be free on launch last year, with the understanding that this was a measure put in place to help those impacted by the pandemic, and that Facebook would, eventually, look to take a cut of these paid tools as part of its future revenue strategy.

 

Which is still the case, but given the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, Facebook’s keeping them free for now, while Zuck has also directly called out Apple’s 30% fee for in-app subscriptions on iOS, noting that Facebook won’t be so greedy in its eventual revenue share strategy.

Tensions have been simmering between the tech giants since last June, when Apple announced its coming IDFA update, which would alert all app users to the data that each app tracks on them, via prominent pop-ups on screen. The prompts then give users the capacity to block data tracking, limiting the insight available for digital advertisers.

Apple ATT prompt

Which is a potentially significant headache for Facebook, which not only tracks a lot of user data within its apps, but also doesn’t have the best reputation for how it uses and protects such info, given the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other similar incidents. 

That will likely see a lot of users cutting Facebook’s data access off in particular, and because of this, Facebook has launched various public attacks on Apple’s new process, even calling on users to oppose the update as it will hurt small businesses.

As Zuckerberg explained back in January, during a Facebook earnings call:

“Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own, Apple may say that they’re doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests.”

Apple, of course, says that its new privacy options are merely moving in line with rising public expectation around such, and giving people more control over how their data is used. Which may well be true, but both explanations also fit, in some ways, and Facebook isn’t the only company that’s voiced strong opposition to Apple’s high App Store fees.

Indeed, Epic Games, the maker of the popular FPS game Fortnite, is currently in the midst of a court challenge against Apple over the 30% fee that Apple applies to in-app purchases. Epic’s argument is that Apple has no stake in such purchases once the app has been downloaded, with The App Store no longer playing a role in the transaction. If that the 30% fee were removed, Epic has argued that it would be able to better serve its audience with lower charges, facilitating business growth and expansion, which it claims is being limited by Apple’s policies.

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