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Apple Cracks Down On NFT Functionality With App Store Regulations

Key Highlights

  • Apple rolled out software updates such as iOS 16.1, iPad OS 16.1, and macOS Ventura to all users on 24th October.
  • It also introduced new App Store rules that limit features unlocked through NFTs and mandates apps to use the payment method of Apple to purchase “boosts” for posts on social media.

Apple said apps could list, mint, and transfer and let users view their NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). However, the ownership of NFTs should not unlock any more features within the app.

Additionally, these apps can let users browse other collections, but they should not show external links, buttons, or call to action to purchase NFTs. Users can only buy NFTs through Apple’s in-app payment system.

The company also prohibits apps from using other mechanisms like QR codes or cryptocurrencies to issue special access to users. It said that apps might not use their mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, like license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency wallets, etc.

Folks from the industry mentioned that these changes could have serious implications on the functionality of web3-dependant apps (including games) within the Apple ecosystem. Until now, they might have used NFTs to thwart Apple’s App Store fees and simultaneously as a token or key to unlock features for users, but that won’t be allowed anymore.

Meta also desires to open a marketplace for artists to sell their digital creations. But this step from Apple means it might have to pay App Store fees if the marketplace is available on iOS.

Social Media Boosts

With new App Store rules, Apple said that marketers do not need to use in-app purchases to manage and purchase campaigns across different media types such as TV, apps, and outdoors.

However, they will have to use in-app purchase system of Apple to buy boosts for social media posts. It would only apply to apps offering in-app tools for promoting posts. That means Apple will cut out of those sales, which might result in platforms hiking boost fees. It could impact companies like Meta, TikTok, and Tinder, which offer in-app boosts.

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