Meta gets its own app store
We have been living with the app stores of Apple and Google for years (and some people also with those of Samsung and Huawei, for example, but they are somewhat smaller). However, Meta would like to see some more competition. It decides to open its own app store.
The apps are not all put together in a store, but it should be possible to download apps directly from Facebook and Instagram by clicking on an advertisement. Meta may have wanted to do that earlier, but that was not possible: App downloads often had to go through Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. However, we will get the sideloading legislation in Europe next year and that means that tech companies have less power. Apple and Google are therefore allowed to hold sway in those markets, as they already do, but they must allow more other apps to be downloaded outside their store.
Previously, there were major problems between the makers of the popular game Fortnite and both tech giants, because it did not agree that it had to pay a 30 percent commission just to be allowed to be in the store. In the end it became a big tug of war involving all kinds of judges and it is still not quite right. Fortunately, Fortnite can be sideloaded anyway to be more officially available. If you are an Android user, you probably have no idea what changes: it is already possible to sideload apps via websites such as APKMirror. However, if you have an iPhone, it is always quite boarded up, so you don’t have that freedom. And neither does the maker of the app.
According to TheVerge, Meta wants to ensure that there is more freedom and that you can download an app faster than there are still a lot of links and taps in between. However, the question is whether Meta will be able to achieve that on Apple phones, because Apple is certainly not keen on the new legislation of the European Union. It may actually add more taps making it a more tedious process: unfortunately Apple is like that sometimes. Also in the Fortnite lawsuit, Apple ensures that it does what the judge asks at the very last moment.
In principle, Meta offers the apps for free, but the app makers are free to choose how and whether they use a payment system. They do not have to pay money to Meta – or Google or Apple – unless there is a small fee for payment costs. Exciting times for Google and Apple, which will see another tech superpower standing next to them with Meta.