Facebook to become an iOS and app store in Europe

App store - Facebook logo on computer screen

The social media platform gained permission to help break the monopolies held by Apple and Google.

European Union scrutiny of the Google Play store and the Apple App Store has been focused on the monopoly held over the apps that can be downloaded on Android and iOS devices.

Apple has restricted the availability of its applications for security reasons, according to the company.

Sideloading is the term used when users download and install an application from a third-party storefront. According to Apple, it doesn’t allow applications to be sideloaded on the App Store because of security reasons. Google says that users can sideload apps, though the vast majority of installs do come from its own official Google Play.

Depositphotos - App store and Google Play Store on mobile phone
Credit: Photo by depositphotos.com

Apple states that it must consider each application iPhone users are offered to be certain that it does not contain malware. That said, according to EU lawmakers, Apple is only holding this strict control over application availability in order to collect as much as 30 percent of in-app purchases, a practice commonly known as the “Apple Tax”. Google also collects as much as 30 percent of in-app purchases when they are made through applications on Google Play.

Meta is launching a pilot program in the EU that will involve creating its own app store on Facebook.

This will allow Facebook users to be able to download applications directly through the social media platform. This includes both iOS and Android applications. Users will no longer be required to leave the social media platform to install directly from the App Store or Google Play.

Instead, users will be provided with an option that will allow them to choose where they obtain the app. Initially, Facebook will not take a cut from any in-app purchases made by users who downloaded through the social media platform. Moreover, developers will have the opportunity to use whatever billing system they want.

Right now, Facebook users who tap an application advertisement on the platform are sent to the official storefronts to install. Once the new program launches later this year for Android users and next year for iOS users, when an ad is tapped, it will provide users with the option to install directly from Facebook, eliminating the additional step of the app store.

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