Apple Changes Rules to Now Allow Gifts from In-App Purchases

By Bill Toulas / December 20, 2018

Apple has changed the App Store guidelines to now allow users to purchase gifts for other users through in-app purchases. This wasn’t previously allowed, so developers couldn’t implement a relevant system. Now that the guideline has changed, the users will have to wait for a couple of days until the first apps that implement a gifting system gets updated. Hopefully, the App Store users will be able to buy a cool in-app item for their friends and family this Christmas.

Apple decided not to impose a specific interface for this, as they do with other elements in order to maintain a coherent user experience. Moreover, they did not provide any particular explanations for the policy change, other than the obvious goal of taking advantage of holiday shopping rates to increase what users spend in the app store even further. As reported by Apple recently, the total revenue of the app developers since the launch of the App Store in 2008 has now reached a figure of about $70 billion, with the split giving Apple 70% of that. This means that making more through in-app gifting will bring more for Apple as well, so the move makes perfect sense.

The specific change in the guidelines is the following:
Before the change: "Apps should not directly or indirectly enable gifting of in-app purchase content, features, or consumable items to others."
After the change: "Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged."

The only thing to wonder about remains why they had decided not to allow this before, and especially since they already permitted the gifting of apps between App Store users for over seven years now. This change is bound to stir things up in the upcoming “Worldwide Developers Conference” that Apple has scheduled to start on Monday.

Are you happy with this policy change? Are you planning to buy friends and family any in-app gifts on the App Store? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t be hesitant to post the same on our socials on Facebook and Twitter.

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