A new rule change passed down by the powers that be at Apple seems to be making a very clear warning to Zuckerberg and the folks at Facebook that the App Store, such as it is, is off limits to the ever expanding social media behemoth. In effect, the new rules prohibit any apps that promote other apps (re: act like the App Store) from being listed on one of Apple’s most lucrative ventures. The App Store pulled in $10 billion in 2013.
It should be noted that nowhere in the documentation for the guideline change does Apple ever call out Facebook specifically, but when you read through the details, they don’t really have to. Facebook functions as a mobile application that promotes other applications — there can be no argument there. Between the plethora of games supported on the platform and the apps the company’s marketing partners want to promote, the House of Zuckerberg quite clearly violates Apple’s new Terms of Service for listing a piece of software in Apple’s marketplace.
Facebook Wants to Increase App Reach, Keeps Stumbling
Needless to say, this isn’t great news for Facebook. After a spending spree that saw the company buy experimental augmented reality firm Oculus Rift and a bill of $19 billion for the acquisition of mobile messaging service WhatsApp, investors and marketers began to wonder when Facebook would actually start to put those services to use to start drawing in more attention and revenue, both for itself and its partners.
The company recently added David Marcus, President of PayPal, to its payroll as the head of the Book’s mobile messaging department. Marcus is credited with making PayPal the revenue-generating payment behemoth it is today. By bringing him in, Facebook hopes to make its mobile services profitable, even while they continue tripping over the release of apps meant to compete with Snapchat and other services.
“I personally commend Apple on the move, Facebook is becoming so full of spam that I basically never log in anymore,” says Andreas of Globi Web Solutions. “If one more person invites me to play Candy Crush, I’ll kick their assets. Apple’s just trying to clean up the landscape a little.”
Unfortunately, the business’s track record of late has been more in line with tripping over itself than with smart hires and acquisitions. Now that Apple has stuck its foot out, hoping to send Facebook reeling yet again, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not Facebook’s plans for mobile app domination will be delayed even longer.