The Facebook Gaming app for iOS launched without games on Friday because of Apple's App Store approval process. The social media giant's app is used to watch streamers play video games, similar to what happens on Twitch.
On iOS devices, however, features like the mini games that viewers can play will be disabled, thanks to Apple's app store policies. Reportedly, the policies make it quite hard to have a gaming app at all in the app store.
No games yet on the Facebook gaming app for iOS devices
"Unfortunately, we had to remove gameplay functionality entirely in order to get Apple's approval on the standalone Facebook Gaming app," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, said in an emailed statement. "We're staying focused on building communities for the more than 380 million people who play games on Facebook every month -- whether Apple allows it in a standalone app or not."
Apple seemingly cited its App Store guidelines as the reason for the Facebook Gaming app's rejection.
Facebook says it has had the Facebook Gaming app rejected multiple times by Apple in recent months. The company says Apple has cited App Store guideline 4.7 to justify the rejections, claiming the primary purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games.
Facebook says it shared usage data from its Android Facebook Gaming app that showed 95 percent of activity is watching streams, but this didn’t change Apple’s stance.
Apple is facing growing criticism from rivals and the gaming industry to loosen its App Store restrictions. It will be interesting to see what strategy Apple adopts next.