Facebook and Apple have already been at odds for quite some time now; Apple announced back at WWDC 2020 that iOS would require apps to ask users to opt-in to cross-app advertising tracking. Facebook spent a lot of another months speaking out against Apple’s plans and predicting revenue instability because of the upcoming changes, however the feature premiered in iOS 14.5 back April of 2021. Somewhat surprisingly, though, a new report from The Wall Street Journalclaims that before this all transpired, Facebook and Apple were focusing on a partnership and revenue-sharing agreement.
Based on the Journal, Apple and Facebook were considering a a subscription service that could offer an ad-free version of the platform. And since Apple requires a cut of in-app purchases, including subscriptions, it might have been an extremely lucrative arrangement indeed.
Another arrangement that has been discussed and finished up being truly a point of contention was Apple going for a cut of “boosted posts,” which essentially amounts to paying to place a post before a more substantial audience. Facebook has long considered boosted posts section of its advertising portfolio; because the Journal notes, smaller businesses often use boosted posts to attain more people. The problem came right down to Apple saying boosts is highly recommended in-app purchases, which may be at the mercy of the 30 percent revenue cut that the business takes. Facebook, however, maintained that those were advertising products which aren’t at the mercy of Apple’s cut.
Since rolling out its user-tracking changes in 2021, research firm Insider Intelligence claims that 37 percent of iPhone users have opted directly into letting companies track their activity across apps. Because the change went into effect, Facebook (now Meta) has seen its revenue growth shrink significantly and last quarter, Meta reported the initial revenue decline in the business’s history.
As these discussions reportedly occurred between 2016 and 2018, we’re a far cry from these talks. Apple does its far better position itself as a defender of privacy, and Meta… well, Meta is busy attempting to make the Metaverse something. But also for now at the very least, advertising may be the only notable way Meta makes revenue, therefore the company will need to continue steadily to adjust to a global where iOS app tracking protection is really a thing that a lot of users benefit from.
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