Facebook has come to an agreement with Apple, which will allow the social network to launch a subscription tool for publishers on iOS.
It would perhaps be more accurate to say Facebook can now launch a subscription tool on Apple’s iOS in such a way that it pleases both parties.
Facebook was free to launch a subscription tool on iOS before, and even has a version of the tool on Android, but the company took issue with Apple’s fees.
Apps that sell subscriptions directly within their iOS app have to give 30% of their revenue to Apple. It’s a mandatory fee Apple charges for anything sold by a third party in an iOS app.
Facebook doesn’t take any amount of revenue away from publishers when subscriptions are sold using its tool, so it’s easy to see why the company would take issue with a 30% cut from Apple.
According to Recode, the dispute over fees has been resolved and the subscription tool will be available on iOS in March. There are no further details about how the dispute was settled.
Publishers can use Facebook’s subscription tool to add a paywall to their articles, similar to what some publishers are doing in Google Search. The first few article views will be free, then users will be prompted to sign up for a subscription.
When a user has reached their limit of free articles they will be sent to the publisher’s website where they can then sign up for a subscription.