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Apple omits Facebook, ‘Essentials’ IG from App Store

FILE – This March 19, 2018, file photo shows Apple’s App Store app in Baltimore. Over the past week, Apple eased some longstanding restrictions that have helped make its App Store a major source of revenue for the company. The company has long required app developers to pay high commissions to Apple on sales of paid apps as well as purchases of subscriptions or digital items in their apps. Apple faces significant pressure to further open the App Store. A federal judge is expected to hand down a verdict soon in an antitrust lawsuit brought by Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, which is seeking to overturn much of Apple’s commission system. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(NEXSTAR) – Is Apple Shading Meta? On Saturday, iPhone users noted that the company’s “Essential” suggested apps storefront in its App Store excluded a few digital giants from the list – a list that recently included a “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures” game.

Many other popular apps, such as TikTok, YouTube, and Amazon, are on the “Essentials” list. But it omits other giants like Facebook, Instagram and instant messaging WhatsApp, all owned by parent company Meta.

Facebook currently has 1.929 billion daily active users, according to BBC. Instagram, meanwhile, claims 120 million active users. For comparison, Facebook has far higher DAU numbers than Twitter (206 million) and TikTok (15.5 million), per Statistics The data. Snapchat – one of Meta’s closest competitors with around 428 million monthly active users – is listed first by Apple.

There is currently no active user data for “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures”, developed by Budge Studios. Apple, however, lists the fashion and design game as no. 43 on his playing cards.

It’s also important to note that the list contains a few different apps when loading, so not everyone’s “essentials” feature the same apps.

A $10 billion hit for Meta

Apple’s recent moves have shown that the mega-giant mobile provider (there were over a billion Active iPhones globally by January 2021) can have a significant impact on businesses. Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency privacy feature is estimated to have cost Meta about $10 billion in revenue, CNBC Explain.

This feature makes it harder to track iPhone users’ data, forcing users to “ask the app not to track” or allow companies like Meta to collect/track their data for advertising purposes.

“We believe the overall impact of iOS is a headwind to our business in 2022,” Meta CFO Dave Wehner said after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report was released. Wehner also canceled Apple’s search agreement with Google: The New York Times reported that Google pays Apple up to $12 billion a year to be the default search engine on Apple products. The partnership was investigated by the US Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit in 2020.

In February, Meta reported its first-ever drop in users and an average increase in monthly active users. Shortly after, the company’s stock price plummeted 25%, slashing its total market value by $230 billion. Forbes reports.

Meanwhile, the exclusions from the “Essentials” list haven’t gone unnoticed by some reviewers.

Inc. Tech columnist Jason Aten noted that Netflix and Spotify were missing from the list, despite being the most-used video streaming and music streaming apps, respectively.

“Neither of course allows users to subscribe to the app, which means Apple can’t collect its share of subscriptions,” Aten said. “Creating a list of ‘must haves’ and omitting the obvious choices – just because it doesn’t benefit them financially – makes the company look vindictive.”