Damus’ tipping feature was recently challenged by Apple, which charges a 30% fee for in-app purchases and which stated that tips “connected to” digital material had to employ in-app purchases in accordance with its rules. Damus’ tipping feature was allowing users to trade Bitcoin without the assistance of other apps or adhere to the App Store fees.
Damus immediately said it would challenge the ruling, claiming that the policy it is based on has been “abused and misapplied” and that no digital content is unlocked when consumers tip.
After a two-week battle that began on June 13 when Apple threatened to remove Damus from the App Store for breaking its in-app purchase policies by allowing tips or “zaps” on content paid for with Bitcoin (BTC) rather than Apple Pay, the social media app that supports Bitcoin was granted permission to stay in the store.
Damus has been required to make some adjustments in order to adhere to Apple’s stringent in-app purchase regulations.
Before this, Damus users could trade advice using the Lightning Network and Bitcoin. Without any involvement from Damus, the payment processing was done directly between users. Additionally, the app runs on the Nostr platform, and these payments are referred to as “zaps.”
Users of Damus will now still be able to conduct peer-to-peer transfers using zaps at the profile level. However, Apple will no longer support zaps on posts. Hence this feature has been removed from the most recent version of the program. Since zaps are the core feature of the whole program, it is questionable how and if this arrangement is beneficial for Damus at all.
Damus App founder William Casarin tweeted:
Despite the agreement to limit zaps to profiles, some Damus supporters saw this approval as a tiny victory.
One person tweeted, “The most important thing is that the notion of zaps exists,” and added that, in the medium term, social media will undergo a revolution.
Prominent members of the Bitcoin community, including the former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey, who contributed $5 million to the creation of the Damus system, criticized Apple’s first decision to withdraw the Damus app from the AppStore. In his tweet, he referred to Tim Cook earlier this week asking “Why doesn’t Apple Pay support Bitcoin @tim_cook?”
The widespread acceptance of Bitcoin-friendly apps in the App Store, according to several members of the Bitcoin community, is hampered by Apple’s strict guidelines. Apple insists that all apps are held to the same standards and are not given any preferential treatment.
Apple and Damus have encountered issues before; the software was turned down from the App Store before being accepted in February. Apple had then threatened to remove Damus from the App Store by the end of June due to a feature in the app that allowed users to report “digital content in the app that violates App Store Review Guidelines.”
Damus thought that removing it from the store would make peer-to-peer transactions through decentralized social networks and other similar networks more difficult.
Intense discussions have been started by Apple’s recent decision to withdraw Damus from the AppStore, which has angered both users and business leaders.
The corporation initially declared that “most doesn’t care, lightning doesn’t care” and “you can not stop us,” according to a tweet from the Damus Twitter account. There must be zaps.
The app was also announcing plans to investigate the viability of making the app available on Android and EU iOS17 sideloading and to develop a “freedom edition” for macOS desktops.
Peer-to-peer transactions are not supported by Apple, according to Damus, who also called the tech company “anti-freedom.” It appears that losing Apple’s user base was unaffordable.
The problem persisted, and Apple recently notified Damus that their app was still in violation of Guideline 3.1.1 – Business Payments, which calls for in-app purchases to only be made in connection with the acquisition of digital content. Damus said that sending zaps does not unlock any digital content and labeled the notion that content is being sold as “nonsense.”
In reaction to Apple’s ruling, Damus modified its app by deleting the tap-to-zap functionality and relocating it to user profiles. The app’s developers have expressed their displeasure with the restrictions placed on their platform, accusing Apple of “giving more reasons for people to switch away from your hardware.”
Damus has received widespread support from the bitcoin industry, with well-known individuals including former Jack Dorsey and Mike Brock from Block sharing the app’s claims and criticizing Apple’s App Store monopoly on Twitter.
The CEO of BTC Times and a Nostr supporter, Walker, referenced other incidents of Apple withdrawing apps, including VPN apps from the China App Store in 2017 and Bitcoin wallets in 2014, accusing the business of being “anti-freedom.”