According to The Verge, Meta is preparing to launch a new kind of Facebook ads that will grant European Union users the ability to download apps without the need to visit their respective mobile app stores. While this feature is expected to debut initially on Android, Meta is said to be collaborating with Android developers for a pilot release later this year.
Currently, Android users can already install APKs and sideload apps they acquire through web browsers, but these apps still rely on Google’s billing system. In contrast, Meta’s proposed app download method is purportedly independent of both Apple’s App Store and Google Play. The introduction of this feature in the EU is made possible by the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new law set to take effect in 2024. As per the DMA’s provisions, consumers must have the ability to download apps from competing app stores. The European Commission stated, “When a gatekeeper engages in unfair practices, such as… preventing installation of applications from other sources, consumers are likely to pay more or are effectively deprived of the benefits that alternative services might have brought.”
Tom Channick, a spokesperson for Meta, has confirmed to The Verge that the company intends to incorporate app downloads through Facebook ads. He expressed Meta’s interest in assisting developers with app distribution and emphasized the significance of introducing additional competition in this domain. Channick stated, “Developers deserve more ways to easily get their apps to the people that want them.” We have also reached out to Meta for further details and confirmation. Reportedly, Meta will not take a portion of developers’ earnings and will permit them to utilize their preferred billing system. However, it should be noted that these conditions may evolve or change during the service’s progression beyond the pilot testing phase.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about direct app downloads
What is Meta’s plan regarding app downloads from Facebook ads for EU users?
Meta plans to introduce a new feature that allows European Union users to directly download apps from Facebook ads without having to visit their mobile platform’s app store.
Will this feature be available for all users?
Initially, this feature will likely be available only for Android users, as Meta is reportedly working with Android developers for the pilot launch.
How does this feature differ from the current app installation methods on Android?
While Android users can already install apps through APKs and sideloading, these apps still utilize Google’s billing system. Meta’s proposed method aims to be independent of both Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
How is the Digital Markets Act relevant to this feature?
The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is a new law in the EU that mandates consumers must be able to download apps from competing app stores. The introduction of Meta’s app download feature aligns with the provisions of the DMA.
Will Meta take a cut from developers’ earnings?
Currently, Meta has stated that it won’t take a portion of developers’ earnings and will allow them to use their preferred billing system. However, this condition may change as the service evolves beyond the pilot testing phase.