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Apple Blocks Apps Integrating Flattr Micropayments Service

Apple has decided to reject all apps integrated with the Flattr micro-payments service. One such app, Instacast, has circumvented this by redirecting the user flow so that the actual “flattr” occurs in the Safari web browser, rather than directly in the app itself. Instacast, a podcast streaming service, integrated with Flattr in order to enable users of the service to flattr podcast creators after listening to their shows.

This rejection is in accordance with their App Store Guideline 21.2, which states: “The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS.” One reason Apple may be rejecting in-app donations is to prevent another incident such as the one it faced from angry parents upset over their children racking up large iTunes bills from in-app purchases. However, integrating Flattr directly into apps also threatens Apple’s own digital purchasing business. From a TechCrunch article:

Flattr could become an alternative to Apple’s own in-app purchasing system, allowing users to “flattr” in exchange for virtual goods, perhaps. That would be ahuge no-no, considering Apple’s 30% cut of in-app purchases are a key revenue generator for its app business. Rather than police all future apps with Flattr integration, Apple has decided to break the user experience instead.
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