Meta Plans to Shake Up Mobile App Market with New App Store in EU

Facebook’s parent company, Meta, is thinking about giving its users in the European Union a different way to get apps for their phones.

As part of its plans, Facebook will let users download apps directly from ads on the site, instead of being sent to Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

The story comes from The Verge. It says that later this year, Meta will start testing its new app download option with a small group of Android app developers before possibly expanding the size and scope of its operations in the future. The company seems to be optimistic about an alternative way to download apps because of the EU’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA), which should go into effect next year.

The new EU law aims to end the virtual duopoly that “gatekeepers” like Apple and Google have on the market for mobile app distribution. It requires them to open up their own ecosystems so that users can download apps from third-party sources. Almost all Android devices already let you download apps from outside sources, but Apple has always laughed off any idea of opening up its “walled garden,” saying that doing so could pose a privacy risk and make iPhones and iPads vulnerable to malware.

Meta is joining the alternative app store trend with Android, which already lets you add apps from third-party stores. According to the report, the business is getting developers to join its pilot by not taking a cut of in-app sales and letting them use any billing system they want. Apple and Google force mobile app makers to use their own billing systems and take a cool 30 percent of all their in-app sales.

Alex Heath of The Verge asked Meta spokesman Tom Channick about the plan, and he said it would be done through Facebook. He said, “We’ve always been interested in helping developers get their apps out there, and new options would make this space more competitive.” Developers need more ways to easily get their apps to people who want them. Even though the company didn’t say for sure, it’s likely that, once the DMA goes into effect, it will launch different app shops for Android and iOS.

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