What just happened? Despite the publicity around its battle with Epic Games, it seems Apple still doesn’t like revealing that it takes a 30% cut of in-app purchases. A new feature from Facebook was supposed to inform users of this fee, but Cupertino blocked the notice.
Reuters reports that Facebook’s new feature is a way for online influencers and other businesses to host paid online events, helping them make up some of the money lost during the pandemic. As the tool is for good causes, the company asked Apple to waive the 30% fee it charges for in-app purchases, thereby allowing the entire revenue to be passed onto the business owners. Apple generously refused.
Facebook wanted to ensure people knew it was Apple, not the social network, taking a fee from the purchase. Earlier this month, the company released images showing how the message would appear in the app, but the note never made it to the final version.
According to Facebook, Apple cited its App Store rules that prevent developers from showing “irrelevant” information to users. There was also a planned message for the Android version that read: “Facebook doesn’t take a fee from this purchase,” but that was not displayed either.
“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes,” Facebook said in a statement. “Unfortunately Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience.”
How Facebook will do that without incurring Apple’s wrath is unclear.
Apple's 30% in-app purchase cut was the cause of its legal battle with Epic Games. After the latter introduced a payment option to Fortnite that circumvented the fee, Apple booted the game from the App Store.