[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Apple’s 30% Fee for Meta Ads Expands

Starting next month, Facebook and Instagram advertisers will need to adapt to a significant change in the way they purchase ads on iOS devices.

Apple is expanding its 30% service fee on ad payments made via its iOS apps globally, following its initial implementation in the U.S. earlier this year. This fee will apply to all ad purchases made through the Facebook and Instagram apps on iOS, which has sparked controversy and criticism from various stakeholders.

Pedro Pavón, Meta Director of Privacy & Fairness Policy via Threads

I’ve been vocal about Apple’s anti-competitive tactics for a while now and written about how Apple often uses privacy as a pretext to gain an unfair advantage in the ads business. The US DOJ recently echoed my concerns, stating that “Apple wraps itself in a cloak of privacy, security, and consumer preferences to justify its anticompetitive conduct.” This is what’s known as privacy washing. A prime example of this is Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) requirements.

With ATT, Apple forces every iOS app that competes with them to prompt users with a rigid, all-or-nothing choice about whether the app can access user data to show personalized ads. But Apple doesn’t hold its own apps to the same standard, even though it still shows personalized advertising to users on some of its apps. That’s simply unfair.”

Despite these criticisms, Apple maintains that it is justified in charging this fee as it provides the platform that enables these businesses to reach their audiences. This justification has not sat well with many, including Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, which took legal action against Apple over its app taxes.

While Apple has made some concessions, such as allowing app makers to redirect users to external websites for payments, these changes are limited and come with additional stipulations like mandatory Apple Pay options and pop-up security warnings.

Work Arounds & Support For Small Businesses

Small businesses, which form a significant portion of those using boosted posts on Facebook and Instagram, are particularly impacted by this change. The number of businesses impacted as this rolls out globally is expected to run into “millions”.

Pedro Pavón, Meta Director of Privacy & Fairness Policy via Threads

The 30% Apple tax gives them an unfair advantage over competitors, making it harder for them to compete on pricing. None of this strikes me as a good outcome for users or fair dealing with competitors.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Regulators worldwide are siding with app developers and consumers who stand to benefit from more choices and lower fees.”

Boosted posts offer a low-barrier-to-entry advertising solution, allowing businesses to promote content quickly without setting up a full campaign in Ads Manager. To support these businesses, Meta is providing flexible and convenient options to help them navigate the new fee structure and maximise their ad spend.

One crucial adjustment is the new payment process for boosting posts through the iOS apps. Previously, advertisers were charged after their boosted posts ran, but now, they will need to prepay and add funds to their accounts in advance. If these funds are added via the iOS apps, the 30% Apple service fee will apply.

However, if advertisers add prepaid funds through their desktop computers or preferred mobile web browsers, they can use these funds to boost content without incurring the fee, even when using the iOS apps. All in all, there are four options for avoiding Apple’s app store tax:

  1. Boost content from facebook.com. Boost content without the Apple service fee by going to facebook.com, using your computer or preferred mobile web browser. Boosting on facebook.com has the same features as boosting from the app.
  2. Add prepaid funds to your ad account from payment settings on facebook.com. Use these funds to boost on the Facebook iOS app without paying the Apple service fee.
  3. Boost content from Meta Business Suite. Download the app or visit Meta Business Suite from a computer to manage content across surfaces and boost content without paying the Apple service fee.
  4. Create ads from Meta Ads Manager. Download the app or visit Ads Manager from a computer to create ads without paying the Apple service fee.

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