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Facebook, Instagram to charge Apple service fee for posts ‘boosted’ via iOS apps

Meta Platforms said on Thursday that businesses purchasing a “boost” for their posts on the iOS versions of its social media apps Facebook and Instagram would need to pay an extra 30 per cent service charge to app store operator Apple.

Advertisers will be able to boost their content on Instagram and Facebook via a browser without paying the Apple service charges, the social media giant said.

Apple had announced the updated App Store guidelines in 2022. Meta said it will start implementing the changes this month in the United States and that other markets will be subject to this fee later in the year.

A Meta spokesperson declined to comment on whether there would be any material impact from the change.

“We are required to either comply with Apple’s guidelines, or remove boosted posts from our apps,” Meta said in a statement.

“We do not want to remove the ability to boost posts, as this would hurt small businesses by making the feature less discoverable and potentially deprive them of a valuable way to promote their business.”

As part of the change, advertisers boosting posts on iOS will be billed by Apple, not Meta, and will be required to pay in advance rather than after the ads run.

Boosted posts is a product offered by Meta to businesses looking to promote their content on apps like Facebook or Instagram, without requiring a campaign through Ads Manager, Meta’s advertising tool that lets brands buy and create ads.

“Boosting, which allows an individual or organization to pay to increase the reach of a post or profile, is a digital service – so of course In-App Purchase is required,” Apple said in a statement. “This has always been the case and there are many examples of apps that do it successfully.”

However, Apple said that Meta customers can still use a separate standalone app called “Meta Ads Manager” to pay for their ad campaigns without paying commissions to Apple because that separate app falls under an exemption for advertising campaign management apps.

  • Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese in Bengaluru, Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Katie Paul in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and David Evans, of Reuters.
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