Meta, Spotify Criticize App Store Policies

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Many app developers, including digital behemoths like Meta and Spotify, have reacted angrily to Apple’s recent steps surrounding the App Store. Accusing the iPhone manufacturer of utilizing its market dominance to undercut its competitors.

What’s New?

Tuesday night, Spotify again accused Apple of engaging in anti-competitive behavior by utilizing “complex and convoluted” restrictions on its app store to disadvantage rivals. Spotify made this accusation in a vehement blog post.

Spotify emphasized the difficulties it encountered when it just launched audiobooks on its platform, claiming that Apple—which also sells audiobooks—rejected the planned purchasing mechanism on its app three times and forced it to use a more time-consuming technique.

Spotify states that due to regulations and Apple’s 30% commission on all in-app purchases, it is unable to disclose audiobook costs on its app and must instead need users to contact them for a payment link.

What’s More?

Facebook and Instagram-promoted content will be affected by Apple’s recent decision to charge a 30% commission on the sales of “boosts” for social media posts, which will force these social apps to use Apple’s own in-app payment system. Social media behemoth Meta also criticized Apple’s recent decision.

The Verge received a statement from Meta accusing Apple of “undercutting others in the digital economy” and breaking a previous agreement not to grab a part of developers’ advertising revenue.

According to Meta, small companies and influencers that rely on Facebook’s app to promote their posts would be the ones who will be most affected by Apple’s decision rather than huge advertisers who deal directly with the social media giant.

Important News

Apple is aiming to grow its own advertising business even as it battles with Facebook over advertisements. Apple began displaying additional advertisements on the iPhone App Store earlier this week.

However, a number of users and developers have expressed worry about the abundance of gambling advertisements that have appeared on the App Store after the upgrade.

The creator of the well-known podcasting app Overcast and former CTO of Tumblr, Marco Arment, expressed his displeasure on Twitter about gambling advertisements appearing on the app’s product page.

“The App Store has so profoundly ruined such a brilliant company,” Arment continued. Daring Fireball author John Gruber tweeted: “If these App Store adverts were in our email inboxes, we’d all flag each and every one of them as spam.”

Background

In recent years, disputes regarding Apple’s App Store restrictions have arisen between Meta and Spotify as well.

Early this year, Meta admitted it anticipated a $10 billion impact from Apple’s recent broad privacy restrictions, which limit the ability to follow user behavior across various apps and reduce the efficiency of targeted advertising.

Apple has made an effort to position itself as a defender of consumer privacy, but some claim that this is only a ploy to secure a share of the internet advertising market that rivals Meta and Google dominate.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and a multibillionaire, has expressed concern about Apple’s recent modifications to the App store.

Digging Into More Details

It will almost surely have an impact on Twitter’s operations. Musk is in the process of purchasing Twitter.

Spotify and Apple have frequently fought over Spotify’s dual responsibilities as the App Store’s rule-making authority and a rival app developer.

Spotify has long contended that Apple’s 30% cut of in-app purchases gives its own services, including Apple Music, an advantage over third-party rivals.

The EU declared in 2020 that it has begun looking into Apple’s suspected anti-competitive actions. The inquiry is still being conducted.

Concluding Remarks

Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, argued that the company’s recent changes will encourage innovation in the online advertising sector at the Wall Street Journal Tech Live event on Tuesday.

Federighi said: “We felt in the long term, that quality advertising and product privacy could coexist, there would be innovation, some of it from us, some of it from others.”

Federighi stated that Apple is still unsure of the immediate effects of its decisions.