Damus app suspends tipping feature as App Store threatens removal, backed by Jack Dorsey.

The decentralized social app, Damus, has claimed that Apple may remove the platform from its App Store. The app, which is backed by Jack Dorsey, posted a tweet on Tuesday which included screenshots of the app review from Apple’s App Store. The screenshots showed that the App Store may remove Damus within 14 days unless the app eliminates some specific in-app payments. These payments are known as “zaps”, and they allow users to exchange tips via Bitcoin using the Lightning Network. The app runs on the Nostr platform, and these payment exchanges go directly between users and are not controlled or initiated by Damus.

However, Apple does not approve of zaps because creators could use them to sell content on Damus. The App Store requires that all in-app payments go through Apple, and Apple retains a 30% fee. In response to a user chiding Apple for the threat, Damus clarified that the payments are strictly peer-to-peer and that the company does not sell any digital goods or provide features for selling digital goods.

Damus said it “has to remove the zap button on posts” to comply with Apple’s requirements. Nonetheless, it notes that “only zaps on profiles are allowed”.

Jack Dorsey Responds to Threat of Damus Removal from App Store

Jack Dorsey, founder and former CEO of Twitter, has responded to Apple’s interpretation of zaps and the threat of deletion from the App Store. In a tweet where he tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook, Dorsey clarified that users who tip on posts are only engaging in the form of feedback and not selling digital content. He also added that Apple is missing a chance to be part of global payments.

Damus debuted on the App Store in January and also made it to Google’s Play Store. The app had about 40 developers who worked tirelessly to finetune the app and also integrate the Lightning Network.

Bluesky, another social media app backed by Jack Dorsey, launched privately on the App Store in February. The idea for Bluesky came in 2019 when Dorsey was still functioning as the CEO of Twitter. However, the company broke off and became a separate entity in 2021.

Last year, Bluesky announced it received $13 million to support the platform’s independence, as well as research and development. The announcement confirmed that the Bluesky team had Dorsey on the board and an unnamed ex-Twitter security engineer on the team.

In a follow-up tweet, Bluesky said Twitter funded the app without conditions. The only requirement is that Bluesky uses the funding to develop technologies that support open and decentralized public conversation.