Damus must tweak BTC tipping feature to stay on App Store, social platform’s creator says

Damus creator William Casarin told his followers on the app that Apple would allow zaps, just with a slight tweak

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BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Decentralized social media platform Damus could be allowed to stay on Apple’s App Store, following Tuesday reports of its impending demise in 14 days. 

Apple originally told Damus it would have to adjust its bitcoin tipping feature, zaps, to be compliant with app store guidelines. Specifically, Apple claimed zaps could enable users to sell digital content outside of Apple’s in-app purchases mechanism, violating the guidelines. It’s important to note that Apple takes a 30% cut on most in-app purchases, per data compiled by Statista.

After Damus’ original tweet showing Apple’s correspondence about the upcoming delisting went viral with the help of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Damus tweeted again, saying Apple got in contact and scheduled a call.

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Apple confirmed that it spoke to Damus and hashed out an understanding about how zaps can survive on the platform.

“We have spoken to this developer to explain how they can resolve this issue, and confirmed they can address this issue in their next update,” Apple told Blockworks.

Damus creator William Casarin also posted on the Damus app, explaining how zaps will change going forward. Currently, users can tip others through a lightning button at the bottom of their notes (Damus’ equivalent to tweets). According to Casarin, Apple wants that feature gone, but it will allow Damus users to tip one another on their profiles.

“Damus can keep the zap button on the profile but not notes. It is considered ‘selling digital content’ if it’s on notes,” Casarin wrote at 2:04 pm ET. 

Yet another Tweet from Damus at 2:41 pm ET said that this change “cripples” the platform.

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Blockworks reached out to Apple but didn’t receive an immediate response.

Damus bills itself as a more private and secure Twitter. It uses end-to-end encrypted private messaging, and accounts don’t require a name, phone number or email, according to Damus’ page on the App Store.

Updated June 13, 2023 at 5:40 pm ET: Added comment from Apple.


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