Published: Sat, June 17, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Apple legalizes and taxes in-app tipping for content creators

If an app has recently undergone significant changes then it might be more hard to find relevant reviews unless users take the time to write reviews without being prompted.

"Apps may use in-app purchase currencies to enable customers to "tip" digital content providers", the tech giant states in its newly-revised App Store Review Guidelines.

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Since before we started playing Candy Crush, app review prompts have been a Wild West of sorts with no set rules for developers to follow. Keep your responses targeted to the user's comments and do not include personal information, spam, or marketing in your response.

Chinese livestreaming video apps like Yinke and Yizhibo have long embraced tipping, allowing viewers to tip or give virtual gifts to the stars they watch in exchange for extra attention from the performer or just as a show of gratitude.

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Apple is now cracking down on apps that send you notifications to review them on the App Store. But the concern from developers may be the loss of control over when, or how often, that prompt is presented. Custom prompts would push users to the App Store, which was frustrating and pointless, but now users can decide whether or not to leave a rating, press a button and get right back into the action. Apple is now making this possible by permitting tipping from within apps using in-app purchases. And once a user has left a rating, they'll never see it again. And, it will be possible to disable these review prompts entirely starting in iOS 11. It also serves as a check against nuking one's review score, if a lot of users who previously reviewed can't be prompted again for a year. To make things even easier for users, once a review has been left, developers must wait until at least a year has passed and a new version of the app has been released until they can ask consumers with more requests for reviews.

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