Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is considering providing users in the European Union (EU) with an alternative method to download apps on their smartphones. Instead of being redirected to Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store, Facebook users may soon be able to download apps directly through ads on the platform.

According to a report from The Verge, Meta plans to initiate a pilot program with selected Android app developers later this year, with potential expansion in the future. Meta’s optimism about an alternative app download system is attributed to the forthcoming Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU, which aims to break the duopoly held by Apple and Google in the mobile app distribution market. The DMA requires these gatekeepers to open up their ecosystems, allowing users to download apps from third-party sources. While downloading apps from external sources is already feasible on most Android devices, Apple has resisted such suggestions due to privacy and security concerns.

Meta intends to join the trend of alternative app stores on Android, taking advantage of the platform’s existing support for third-party app installations. The company is encouraging developers to participate in the pilot program by waiving its share of in-app revenue and allowing developers to use their preferred billing systems. This addresses two contentious issues for app developers who currently face mandatory use of Apple and Google’s billing systems, along with a 30% fee on in-app earnings.

A Meta spokesperson confirmed the company’s plan to distribute apps through Facebook, highlighting the goal of providing developers with more options and fostering competition. Although Meta did not explicitly confirm launching alternative app stores for Android and iOS, it is likely part of their long-term plan once the DMA is implemented.


By 4niso

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