Recently, Meta announced plans to allow creators to sell virtual items and effects within its Horizon World metaverse. Creators, users, and tech writers in general had some not very nice things to say about the plans. More recently, Apple has called out Meta as hypocritical in the most controversial part of the metaverse content creation plan: the commission rate.
Much Higher Metaverse Content Commissions Than Meta Complained About Apple Charging
More specifically, Meta announced its allowing creators to earn money from its metaverse by creating and selling non-fungible tokens (NFTs). In a recent blog post, the social media giant says these items could be “attachable accessories for a fashion world,” or paid access to a new part of the world. While the post does not specify the commission rate, Meta did talk about this with CNBC.
The company spokesperson told CNBC that Meta will take an overall cut of up to 47.5% on each transaction. This would include a hardware fee of 30%, as well as a 17.5% platform commission.
Let us not forget, the company itself has been quite vocal about Apple’s commission’s on its own App Store. In June 2021, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote that its commission would be ”less than the 30% that Apple and others take.” At other times, Zuckerberg has referred to the App Store cut as “monopolistic” and harmful to customers.
Apple Calls Horizon Worlds Commission Plans Hypocritical
Apple quickly responded to the announcement, calling the plans hypocritical. The iPhone maker’s spokesperson, Fred Sainz, emailed MarketWatch. He pointed out that Facebook complains about Apple’s own platform fees. Meanwhile, it is looking to charge its own creators even more.
Meta has repeatedly taken aim at Apple for charging developers a 30% commission for in-app purchases in the App Store — and have used small businesses and creators as a scapegoat at every turn. Now — Meta seeks to charge those same creators significantly more than any other platform. [Meta’s] announcement lays bare Meta’s hypocrisy. It goes to show that while they seek to use Apple’s platform for free, they happily take from the creators and small businesses that use their own.
As things stand now, Apple charges a commission of 15% to 30%. This rate varies depending on the size of the developer and other agreements. The Cupertino-based company has come under fire for this commission on numerous occasions. The controversy is especially harsh, since iOS developers are locked into accepting payments only through Apple in most cases.
Blockparty CEO Vladislav Ginzburg underscored how many developers feel about the plans so far. The executive told MarketWatch,
Facebook keeps all media uploaded to it, retains all user data and owns every step of the process to sell to marketers. Rather than enable creators to share in the value they bring to Facebook, their goal is to take half of the sale. No thanks.
Horizon Worlds’ commerce platform is only available to a handful of creators so far. So, it very well may change going forward. For the time being, though, it certainly appears hypocritical for Meta charge so much more than even Apple does in commissions.