Apple’s 30% Ad Fee For Boosted Posts On Instagram And Facebook: How SMEs Can Avoid It

Graphic showing how people interact with social media.

Starting this month (March 2024), business users that purchase boosted posts on Facebook or Instagram through the iOS app will be billed through the Apple App Store, and not directly through Meta (the parent company that owns Facebook and Instagram, as well as WhatsApp).

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The new process is currently being rolled out in the USA, with international markets, including the UK, to follow suit later in the year.

Does this matter? Well, yes. Having your Meta advertising spend processed through your App Store direct debit or PayPal link might be convenient, but there is a fairly steep cost involved. Following recent changes made by Apple to their App Store Review Guidelines, they will now be charging a service fee amounting to 30% of your total ad payment.

And this isn’t the only change. The update also includes the stipulation that businesses boosting posts through the Instagram and Facebook iOS apps are now required to pay in advance, drawing on prepaid funds in their Meta account to boost the post. This is a change from the current billing practice, in which advertisers were charged after their boosted posts were published.

This new service charge could significantly increase the cost of using boosted content on Facebook or Instagram through an Apple mobile device, with impacts on your bottom line and ROI.

How to avoid the charge

The good news is that the service charge is easy to avoid through a straightforward loophole. Let’s be clear, this is a service charge applied by Apple, not by Meta. The 30% Apple service charge will only be applied when a business purchases prepaid funds within their Facebook or Instagram iOS app – i.e. if the purchase is processed through the Apple App Store.

If, however, you use your desktop PC or a mobile web browser to add prepaid funds through the Instagram or Facebook website, purchasing directly from Meta, then you can use these funds to purchase boosted posts using any platform, including an iOS app, without an additional fee. The service charge is avoided because the Apple App Store is not used to make the transaction.

So that’s it; to continue taking advantage of low-cost boosted content on Instagram and Facebook, with the convenience of advertising through your mobile, you just have to remember to top up your account through a browser, and not through an iOS app.

We will keep you updated through this blog about when the changes are likely to apply to UK customers, as well as any other changes brought about by the Apple App Store Review Guidelines.

Find out more

For more information about social media advertising and how to get the best value from your content on Facebook and Instagram, please contact us today by clicking here.

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