Apple omits Facebook, ‘Essentials’ IG from App Store

ByLance T. Lee

Apr 3, 2022

(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 the BBC. Instagram, meanwhile, has 120 million active users. For comparison, Facebook has far higher DAU numbers than Twitter (206 million) and TikTok (15.5 million), according to data from Statistica. 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 decisions have shown that the mega-giant mobile provider (there were over a billion active iPhones worldwide as of January 2021) can have a significant impact on business. Apple’s new App Tracking Transparency privacy feature is estimated to have cost Meta about $10 billion in revenue, CNBC says.

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 broke Apple’s search deal 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 the subject of an antitrust lawsuit by the US Department of Justice in 2020.

In February, Meta reported its first-ever drop in users and an average increase in the number of monthly active users. Soon 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. technology columnist Jason Aten noted that Netflix and Spotify were missing from the list, despite being the most widely 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.”

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