Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Meta is planning to let people in the EU directly download apps through Facebook ads, setting the company up to eventually compete with Google and Apple’s app stores.
The new type of ad is set to start as a pilot with a handful of Android app developers as soon as later this year, I’ve learned. Meta sees an opening to try this thanks to new regulation in the EU called the Digital Markets Act (DMA) that is expected to go into effect next spring. It deems Apple and Google as “gatekeepers” and requires that they open up their mobile platforms to alternative methods of downloading apps.
Android technically allows sideloading already, though Google makes it difficult by coupling its in-app billing and licensing with the Play Store, along with…