Apple and Google may soon have a new app store competitor to contend with. Meta, the maker of Facebook and Instagram, is reportedly working on a way for users in the European Union to download apps directly via a new type of Facebook ad. If successful, the move could potentially shake up the current App store marketplace duopoly in the region.
Meta, accordingly The Verge plans to pilot the new ad types with a limited number of Android developers as early as late 2023. Both Google and Apple are currently making it extremely difficult for users to find alternative methods of downloading apps on mobile devices, but Meta reportedly believes all of that could change with the recently released version Digital Markets Act. This new legislation specifically encourages big tech companies to open up their so-called “walled gardens” and engage in self-serving behavior.
Meta did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
To sweeten the deal for participating developers, Meta has reportedly announced that it will not take a percentage of in-app revenue from participating apps. That’s in stark contrast to Apple and Google, which for years have drawn ire from developers and some regulators over their so-called app taxes that can do this are between 15 and 30% depending on the size of the developer.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg hasn’t shied away from criticizing the current state of the app stores in the past. Last year, during an interview At the New York Times DealBook Summit, Zuckerberg specifically criticized Apple’s app store practices, which he called “problematic.”
“I do think Apple has emerged as the only company trying to unilaterally control what apps get on a device, and I don’t think that’s a sustainable or good place,” Zuckerberg reportedly said. “I think it’s problematic when a company can control what kind of app experiences get onto the device.”
Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment.