A metaverse-like virtual simulation of what it would be like if Mark Zuckerberg (left) and Tim Cook (right) actually fought. Photo: Drew Angerer/Michel Porro (Getty Images)
Big Tech Daddy and Daddy fight.
On Monday, Meta (the company formerly known as Facebook) announced a new feature in its virtual reality video game Horizon Worlds where a limited number of in-app developers could start selling things like virtual accessories. The announcement came with a big caveat: the developers will give over 47.5% of each sale to Oculus and Meta. The heavy tax was higher than the creators expected, and many of them were not happy about it.
Now Apple has gotten into the debate, responding to Meta’s announcement and getting adamant in a statement to MarketWatch.
“Meta has repeatedly targeted Apple for charging developers a 30% commission for in-app purchases on the App Store — and has used small businesses and developers as scapegoats at every turn. Now, Meta is trying to charge the same creators significantly more than any other platform. The announcement exposes Meta’s hypocrisy. It shows that while they’re trying to use Apple’s platform for free, they’re happy to benefit from the developers and small businesses using their own,” the company said in a statement.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder himself, personally reported Apple’s high commission on his own Facebook pages in November 2021 and instituted a meta-creator mechanism to subvert Apple’s fee system. Less than seven months later, the Zuck company is poised to beat Apple’s tax by more than half.
Meta has sued Apple for years for its 30% App Store transaction fee. For example, Fidji Simo, then Facebook Vice President, wrote in an August 2020 company blog post, “We hope Apple will consider permanently changing its requirements for apps to use its payment processing platform and reducing the associated 30% tax.” And in an update to the post, Simo added, “We’ve asked Apple to lower its 30 percent App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we can cover all costs for businesses operating during COVID-19.” have to fight. Unfortunately, they rejected both of our applications.”
On Tuesday, Vivek Sharma, Vice President of Meta’s Horizon, commented on the meta creator sales announcement and the 47.5% total fee, telling The Verge, “We think it’s a pretty competitive price in the market.” He added : “We believe that the other platforms can have their share.”
Is 50/50 really a fair split for creators when it comes to meticulously coded and crafted simulated butterfly wings? At least Apple doesn’t think so.