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Facebook Delays Taking a Cut on Paid Events and Fan Subscriptions till 2023, Criticizes Apple’s Fees

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is not happy with Apple, and he’s not afraid to call them out by name in airing his grievances.

As you can see here, Zuckerberg has today announced that its creator revenue tools, including paid online events, fan subscriptions and badges, will remain free for creators to use up until 2023.

Facebook announced that these tools would be free on launch last year, with the understanding that this was a measure put in place to help those impacted by the pandemic, and that Facebook would, eventually, look to take a cut of these paid tools as part of its future revenue strategy.

Which is still the case, but given the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, Facebook’s keeping them free for now, while Zuck has also directly called out Apple’s 30% fee for in-app subscriptions on iOS, noting that Facebook won’t be so greedy in its eventual revenue share strategy.

Tensions have been simmering between the tech giants since last June, when Apple announced its coming IDFA update, which would alert all app users to the data that each app tracks on them, via prominent pop-ups on screen. The prompts then give users the capacity to block data tracking, limiting the insight available for digital advertisers.

Apple ATT prompt

Which is a potentially significant headache for Facebook, which not only tracks a lot of user data within its apps, but also doesn’t have the best reputation for how it uses and protects such info, given the Cambridge Analytica scandal and other similar incidents. 

That will likely see a lot of users cutting Facebook’s data access off in particular, and because of this, Facebook has launched various public attacks on Apple’s new process, even calling on users to oppose the update as it will hurt small businesses.

As Zuckerberg explained back in January, during a Facebook earnings call:

“Apple has every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work, which they regularly do to preference their own, Apple may say that they’re doing this to help people, but the moves clearly track their competitive interests.”

Apple, of course, says that its new privacy options are merely moving in line with rising public expectation around such, and giving people more control over how their data is used. Which may well be true, but both explanations also fit, in some ways, and Facebook isn’t the only company that’s voiced strong opposition to Apple’s high App Store fees.

Indeed, Epic Games, the maker of the popular FPS game Fortnite, is currently in the midst of a court challenge against Apple over the 30% fee that Apple applies to in-app purchases. Epic’s argument is that Apple has no stake in such purchases once the app has been downloaded, with The App Store no longer playing a role in the transaction. If that the 30% fee were removed, Epic has argued that it would be able to better serve its audience with lower charges, facilitating business growth and expansion, which it claims is being limited by Apple’s policies.

The eventual outcome could see Apple reducing its stake, but the chances of Apple dropping it in any significant way, or eliminating such entirely, appear slim. But with the bigger platforms continuing to make noise, particularly in the case of tools designed to help creators make money, and deal with the impacts of the pandemic, maybe the added pressure will eventually weigh on Apple, or at the least, prompt further scrutiny from regulators.

Apple did grant a temporary waiver of its 30% fee on funds raised through Facebook’s paid events last Setpember, so there has been some small signs of flexibility in the company’s generally hardline approach.

But it’s still standing firm for the most part, and doesn’t appear to be softening its stance as yet.

In addition to Facebook’s decision to delay taking any cut of its new paid options for the next two years, Zuckerberg also announced a new payout interface, which will show creators how different companies’ fees and taxes are impacting their earnings.

Facebook fees breakdown

As you can see, the new listing will clearly display where every cent of your revenue goes from your Facebook events and subscriptions – which, aside from adding transparency, also seems like a way to re-direct even more anger towards Apple and Google for the cut that they take. 

That, Facebook would be hoping, will help to add more pressure on the company to re-think its approach, but given the history, I wouldn’t be expecting Apple to bend so easy.

Maybe, it’ll just look for more ways to hit Facebook back instead, and the sparring match will continue – or maybe, eventually, it will see a significantly reduced share going to the tech giants, and more money getting into creators’ pockets instead. 

I mean, you can hope for the latter, but the former, right now, seems, more likely.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …



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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular content format, providing on-demand, topical material covering virtually any subject that you can think of.

Indeed, according to estimates, over 130 million people will listen to podcasts monthly in the US this year, which could also provide significant opportunities for marketers to tap into this captive audience, and reach them with relevant ads and offers.

If you’re considering getting into podcasting or podcast advertising, this will help. The team from Spiralytics have put together a collection of podcast consumption stats and notes, which could help guide your thinking around the format.

Check out the full infographic below.

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