Even though they are sort-of rivals, Facebook and Apple normally do not complain about each other’s policies. But in a rare moment, Facebook is calling out Apple for refusing to waive its 30% standard App Store fee in the new paid online events feature that the social media giant is bringing to small businesses. This is just one of the growing rank of companies that have been complaining about Apple’s unbending stance on this fee, the most vocal being Epic Games and the Fortnite kerfuffle.
If you didn’t know it yet, Facebook is now offering businesses a platform for paid online events to help those who are currently struggling during the pandemic. This way businesses, creators, educators, and media publishers will be able to monetize their seminar, concert, workshop, and other online content which they would normally do for their in-person marketing. This will be available for those in the U.S. as well as 19 other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Singapore, and the UK.
Facebook says they will not collect any fees from these paid online events so that 100% of the profits will go to the probably struggling business or creator. At least, for the next year. For transactions finished over the web or over on Android devices in countries with Facebook Pay, all the revenue generated will directly go to whoever organized the event. The problem will now happen if the attendee is paying through their iOS device.
Facebook directly says that they asked Apple to waive or just reduce the 30% App Store tax which has been there ever since we can remember. They even asked if they could offer Facebook Pay so that the company can absorb all the costs. “Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests,” said Fidji Simo Vice President, Head of Facebook App. They said they will make these other fees clear in the product which they have already submitted for approval by Apple.
Let’s see if Apple will remain adamant about not waiving or even reducing the fee in light of Facebook’s direct criticism. It will be good PR for them though if they decide to walk back their decision in light of the negative publicity that they’re facing over banning Fortnite.