Facebook’s plan for Subscription in its Mobile App hits a hitch

Facebook’s plan for media companies to sell subscriptions has hit a hitch, as the company and Apple failed to reach agreement on terms, so the subscription tool will only launch on Android for now.

While the subscription tool was supposed to raise a paywall around articles from select publishers in Facebook’s news feed, and require users to buy subscriptions from the publishers’ sites for access.

Apple had demanded 30 percent of any subscription revenue Facebook generates from the service, of which Facebook wants all the revenue to go to publishers.

As Apple deducts about 30 percent of subscription revenue from all “in app” sales, in accordance to the company’s rules about subscriptions sold on its platform. The hitch stems from the fact that even though Facebook had required that users sign up for subscriptions outside of its apps; that is, on publishers’ own websites, Apple still consider that as “in-app” purchase, since the transaction is initiated inside the Facebook’s app.

Google, on the other hand wouldn’t demand any cut of the subscriptions from its users signing up for the service on Android operating system.

Ironically, it's not every publisher that likes the Facebook’s subscription idea, as some publishers had complained about been unable to set the terms of the paywall, instead of allowing Facebook to determine how many times readers can view their articles for free.

Albeit, Facebook had declined to comment on the dispute with Apple, but outlined its plan to launch the subscription tool on Android.
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