Meta Platforms Inc. META, the parent company of Facebook, reportedly intends to disrupt the app distribution landscape by taking on industry giants Apple Inc. AAPL and Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL through a strategic move involving Facebook ads.
What Happened: To challenge the app store dominance of Apple and Google, the Mark Zuckerberg-led company apparently plans to introduce a new feature that allows users in the EU to directly download apps through Facebook ads, reported The Verge.
According to the report, this initiative is set to commence as a pilot with a select group of Android app developers later this year and takes advantage of the forthcoming Digital Markets Act in the EU.
While Android already permits sideloading, Meta’s focus on Android for this pilot suggests a cautious approach compared to Apple’s iOS platform.
The company aims to entice developers by promising higher conversion rates for app install ads and initially plans to forgo a cut of in-app revenue, allowing participating developers to retain their preferred billing systems, the report noted.
Previously, Microsoft Corporation MSFT has also expressed interest in launching an alternative app store for games on iOS and Android in Europe next year, indicating a broader trend of app store competition spurred by the DMA.
Why It’s Important: Earlier this year, it was reported that with the launch of iOS 17 during the WWDC 2023 event, elements will enable the sideloading of apps. However, after the conference, it became clear that there is no beta sideloading.
Having said that, tech experts and analysts have predicted that Apple will eventually comply with the EU as the company has already been accused of anti-competitive practices because of the App Store and iOS.
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