To eventually compete with Google and Apple's app stores, Meta is reportedly planning to allow people in the European Union (EU) directly download applications through Facebook ads.
Some Android app developers will test the new type of ad as soon as later this year, reports The Verge.
The Digital Markets Act (DMA)-- a new regulation in the EU-- that is anticipated to take effect in the spring, provides Meta with an opportunity to try this feature. "It deems Apple and Google as 'gatekeepers' and requires that they open up their mobile platforms to alternative methods of downloading apps," the report said.
Android technically already supports sideloading, though Google makes it challenging by integrating in-app charging and licensing with the Play Store and by displaying scary warnings whenever someone attempts to download an Android app from a different source.
Even yet, Meta believes that it is safer to run its test on Android first than Apple's iOS. The pitch made by the company to developers taking part in the test is that by hosting their Android apps and enabling direct Facebook downloads without forcing users to visit the Play Store, they will experience greater conversion rates for their app install ads.
Developers in the experiment could use whatever billing systems they like because, at least initially, Meta doesn't plan to collect a percentage of in-app income from participating apps, the report said.
"We’ve always been interested in helping developers distribute their apps, and new options would add more competition in this space. Developers deserve more ways to easily get their apps to the people that want them," said Meta spokesperson Tom Channick.