Tuesday, November 1, 2022

IAP for Boosted Posts

Apple (MacRumors):

Advertising Management Apps: Apps for the sole purpose of allowing advertisers (persons or companies that advertise a product, service, or event) to purchase and manage advertising campaigns across media types (television, outdoor, websites, apps, etc.) do not need to use in-app purchase. These apps are intended for campaign management purposes and do not display the advertisements themselves. Digital purchases for content that is experienced or consumed in an app, including buying advertisements to display in the same app (such as sales of “boosts” for posts in a social media app) must use in-app purchase.

Alex Heath (Hacker News, MacRumors):

This primarily affects Facebook and Instagram, which let people pay to boost the reach of their posts. It’s the first time Apple has directly taxed advertising in iOS apps.


Meta is accurate to say that this policy on paid boosts is, at least publicly, an about-face from Apple. Last May, during the Epic v. Apple antitrust trial, App Store boss Phil Schiller testified that the company had never taken a cut of iOS developer ad revenue. Going forward, that won’t be true anymore.

Florian Mueller:

Apple’s in-app purchasing (IAP) system is not mandatory for pure Advertising Management Apps. For instance, the Google Ads app shows you how your campaign is going, and you can also make some modifications to a campaign or start a new campaign, and that is separate from IAP. But where Apple now imposes an app tax is if the purchase of a promotion such as a “boost” for a post is made in the very same app that displays it. You can “boost” tweets or Facebook posts within those apps, and so far that was not considered an IAP, but now it is.

Apparently, dating apps like Bumble have operated like that for some time. The difference is, of course, that generating more views of a profile on a dating website is functionally and commercially closer to a premium subscription or other premium feature of a dating app: it’s not a two-sided market, while there is a structural difference between the way in which a company promoting a tweet or Facebook post uses that platform as compared to the other side of that market, which is the huge number of people who read those posts or write their own without an intent to ever pay for promotion. In other words, on dating apps everybody is dating and a boost is just dating on steroids, but on Twitter or Facebook, it’s not like everybody is advertising.

Big-budget advertisers will not be affected, or at least not in most of those situations, as they will use dedicated advertising apps. But small businesses will often just pay for boosting a social media post, and they will normally do it where they post. Without them even knowing, they will further enrich Apple. They won’t know as Apple prohibits that app developers tell customers the truth and make them aware of a less expensive alternative to get the same service.

See also: Dithering.


1 Comment RSS · Twitter

It's possible to boost your listing in the Swedish version of eBay. That would be subject to Apple tax from now on.

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