Facebook became the latest app developer to take a swipe at Apple, criticising its decision to take a cut of revenue generated by a new tool designed to enable small businesses to cash in on live broadcasts hosted on the social media platform.
In a blog, head of the Facebook app Fidji Simo said a new paid online events feature allows eligible business owners in 20 countries to broadcast live events and charge users a one-time fee when they register to join the session.
Simo noted that during testing businesses used the tool to host “expert talks, trivia events, podcast recordings, boxing matches, cooking classes, intimate meet-and-greets, fitness classes and more”.
Facebook will not collect a fee for paid events “for at least the next year” because “many businesses are struggling and every cent matters”.
But while businesses will get to keep all of the revenue they generate from registration transactions processed on Android and the web, she noted Apple refused to “reduce its 30 per cent App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling” due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
As a result, she said businesses will “only be paid 70 per cent of their hard-earned revenue” stemming from iOS transactions. The swipe comes as Apple faces intense scrutiny of its app store practices, most recently facing a lawsuit from Fortnmite creator Epic Games.