WSJ: Facebook and Apple held talks over in-app purchases and subscriptions

Apple spoke with Facebook between 2016 and 2018, proposing to the social media company to introduce a paid subscription without ads. Apple also felt that a commission should be paid for promoted posts.

These ideas are according to The Wall Street Journal brought to the table during discussions that took place between 2016 and 2018. They explored how the two companies could work together more in the business field. One of the things discussed was the introduction of a paid subscription to Facebook that would stop users from seeing ads. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple wanted to earn more income from in-app purchases through Facebook.

The company also found that it was entitled to a commission from the sale of promoted posts on the Facebook platform. These are ads based on Facebook posts that should lead to more sales. According to Facebook, promoted posts belonged to the category of advertisements and did not have to be paid a commission. According to the American newspaper, Apple saw it differently and thought that Facebook should regard promoted messages as an in-app purchase. This would allow the Cupertino company to ask for a 30% commission. Despite talks between the two companies, no solution was found.

Apple introduced iOS 14 to the world a few years later, in 2020. The company then announced that it would be adding new anti-tracking features to its mobile operating systems. They came with iOS 14.5. Through the App Tracking Transparency feature in that version of the operating system, users could now choose to have their activities tracked so that developers could show targeted advertisements. Many companies, including Facebook, opposed the new features and even claimed it could lead to a drop in revenue. Advertising company Lotatme estimated at the end of 2021 that social media companies had lost about $10 billion in revenue after two quarters due to the anti-tracking features in iOS.