The new Facebook Messenger, which lets users install other apps to use with the popular chat platform, seems to conflict directly with Apple’s App Store guidelines — meaning that Apple may have cause to pull Messenger from iPhones and iPads.
“Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected,” goes Section 2.25 of the App Store Review Guidelines, the bit in contention, as pointed out by Button co-founder Chris Maddern on Twitter.
This means that you can’t run another app store within your own app, for the obvious reason that Apple doesn’t want anybody operating a competing app store on its platform, as Amazon does on Android (to Google’s annoyance). If you get an app on iOS, Apple wants to know about it, and if you’re paying for it, it wants a cut.
But just look at this screenshot from Facebook Messenger:
It resembles an app store, especially since any apps you install in Messenger appear on an iOS home screen.
Apple has banned apps in the past that don’t fall in line with its guidelines, such as Launcher, which adds shortcuts to apps to your iPhone’s lock screen in the notification panel. Launcher was just allowed back into the App Store, however.
So far, there’s been no indication that Apple has any intention to stop iPhone owners from using Facebook’s new platform.