Earlier in 2020 Facebook created a way to let small businesses create paid online events through the social network. Facebook’s argument was that it helped these smaller entities due to the pandemic. It promised not to collect a fee on these events until 2021.
However, since they could be sold through Facebook’s iOS app, Apple would take it’s usual 30% cut. Now Apple says it will let these businesses use Facebook Pay, which means it won’t collect the fee.
Facebook vs. Apple
Facebook initially wanted to warn its users of Apple’s fee, but Apple blocked the update, calling it “irrelevant” to its customers. Now Apple seems to have relented, at least for now.
In this case, Facebook’s success seems to be in part due to the fact it’s been able to frame its motivations as altruistic while painting Apple as an avaricious monolith. (Epic is trying to do the same with its #FreeFortnite campaign and satirical ads.) But, of course, Facebook also stands to benefit if Apple drops its platform fees on iOS and gives freer reign to third-party payment systems.
Companies like ClassPass and Airbnb had clashed with Apple because they were offering classes through Facebook. ClassPass helped people book exercise classes at local gyms, and Airbnb offered virtual experiences like meditation sessions and cooking classes.