Meta is planning to let people in the European Union download apps directly via ads on its social networking platform, Facebook. This will set the company to directly rival with app stores of both Google and Apple. According to a report in The Verge, these kinds of ads will debut on the platform with a few Android app developers later in 2023.
The reason why Meta is able to try this is because of a new EU regulation called the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The Act is likely to go into effect next year and keeping in-line with it, Apple and Google will have to open their mobile platforms – iOS and Android – to methods of downloading apps other than their own respective app stores.
We should point out that it is possible to to sideload apps on Android already, but Google still clubs its billing and licensing with the Play Store and issues multiple warnings when users attempt to download apps from any source other than the tech giant’s own app store. In spite of this, Meta will first be trying out its ads on Android before iOS.
The company is pitching this experiment with a very good explanation to developers, stating that if users can download apps directly from their Facebook ads without being redirected to Play Store, they will be able to see better conversion rates. Meta says that it does not plan on taking a cut of the revenue from the in-app purchases that would be made on the participating apps. Well, at least we can consider that initially they would stick to their word. But this means that app developers in the pilot could continue to use their regular billing systems.
Meta’s spokesperson, Tom Channick, confirmed the company’s plan by saying, “We’ve always been interested in helping developers distribute their apps, and new options would add more competition in this space. Developers deserve more ways to easily get their apps to the people that want them.”
It is also worth noting that Meta isn’t the only one eyeing to become a mobile apps distributor with the new act going into effect as Microsoft has also said that it plans to launch an app store for games for Android and iOS by next year. So that’s plenty of competition coming App Store’s and Play Store’s way already and it’ll be interesting to see which one becomes a preferred way for users to download apps.
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