Facebook Online EventsSource: Facebook

What you need to know

  • Facebook has a new paid online events feature to help small businesses.
  • Page owners can create online events and collect payments for attendance.
  • Facebook says despite a request, Apple would not let Facebook bypass its App Store guidelines.

Facebook has announced new paid online events on its platform but says Apple wouldn't relax App Store guidelines when it comes to taking a cut of proceeds.

In a news announcement Friday Facebook stated:

Today we're launching the ability for businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to earn money from online events on Facebook. Now Page owners can create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place.

The new events will feature a 'purchase access' button, allowing users to buy access to Facebook events, a new way for small businesses to make money. The new feature is available in 20 countries, and Facebook says it won't collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year. The same can't be said for Apple, and Facebook says that whilst it asked Apple for special treatment, or for it to relax App Store guidelines, Apple was having none of it:

We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue. While Facebook is waiving fees for paid online events we will make other fees clear in the product.

The criticism from Facebook, of course, follows Epic Games' publicity stunt earlier this week in which is filed a lawsuit against Apple over its App Store rules.