(NEXSTAR) – Is Apple shading Meta? On Saturday, iPhone users noted the company’s showcase of “Essential” suggested apps in its App Store leaves a few digital giants off the list — a list that recently included a “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures” game.
Many other popular apps, like TikTok, YouTube and Amazon, appear on the “Essentials” list. But it omits other giants like Facebook, Instagram and instant messenger WhatsApp, all owned by parent company Meta.
Facebook currently has 1.929 billion daily active users, according to BBC. Instagram, meanwhile, boasts 120 million active users. For comparison, Facebook has far higher DAU numbers than Twitter (206 million) and TikTok (15.5 million), per Statistica 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 its gaming charts.
It’s also important to note the list populates with a few different apps when loaded, so not everyone’s “Essentials” may feature the same apps.
A $10B hit to Meta
Recent moves by Apple have shown the mega-giant mobile provider (there were over 1 billion active iPhones globally by January 2021) can have a significant impact on business. Apple’s new privacy feature App Tracking Transparency is estimated to have cost Meta about $10 billion in revenue, CNBC explains.
The feature makes it harder to track iPhone user data, requiring users to either “Ask App not to Track” or allow companies like Meta to collect/track their data for advertising.
“We believe the impact of iOS overall is a headwind on our business in 2022,” Meta CFO Dave Wehner said after the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report was released. Wehner also knocked Apple’s search deal with Google: The New York Times reported that Google pays Apple up to $12 billion per year to be the default search engine on Apple products. The partnership was the subject of a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit in 2020.
Back in February, Meta reported its first-ever drop in users and a middling increase in monthly active users. Shortly afterward, the company’s share price dropped by 25%, cutting $230 billion from its total market value, Forbes reports.
Meanwhile, the “Essentials” list exclusions didn’t go unnoticed by some critics.
Inc. technology columnist Jason Aten noted that both Netflix and Spotify were absent from the list, despite being the most-used streaming video and streaming music apps, respectively.
“Of course, neither allows users to sign up within the app, which means Apple doesn’t get to collect its cut from subscriptions,” Aten claimed. “Curating a ‘must-have’ list and leaving out the obvious choices — just because it doesn’t benefit them financially — just makes the company look vindictive.”