In a surprising turn of events, Damus, the popular Nostr-based decentralized social networking app, is at risk of being removed from Apple’s App Store. Apple claims that Damus violates its guidelines by allowing users to send “tips” (zaps) associated with receiving content from digital content creators through a mechanism other than in-app purchase. This violation of Directive 3.1.1 – Business – Payments – In-App Purchases prompted Apple to take action, according to the message sent to Damus creator William Casarin.
The news comes at a critical time for Damus and its creator, who was scheduled to give a talk at the Oslo Freedom Forum on how decentralized social networks, integrated with Lightning technology, can bring financial freedom to the masses. The impending removal of the App Store raises concerns about the freedom to transact peer-to-peer on the platform and has broader implications for apps that rely on Lightning integration and apps. value models for value on the app store.
In an official communication from Apple’s App Review, Damus was informed that an update that meets App Store review guidelines must be submitted within 14 days to ensure app availability. Failure to meet the time limit will result in the removal of the application from sale. Additionally, if Damus is found to be non-compliant and rejected even after the 14-day period, it will remain unavailable until a compliant update is submitted, approved, and released.
Removing Damus from the App Store would not only impact its current users, but would also affect external and internal testing through the TestFlight release. All public TestFlight links will stop working if the app is removed.
This development raises questions about the future of apps with Lightning integration and the potential limitations of peer-to-peer transactions on Apple’s platform. It remains to be seen how Damus and its creator will react to this setback and if they can find a solution that meets Apple’s guidelines while maintaining the fundamental principles of decentralization and financial freedom.
An interesting note is that Twitter allows “tips” via the Lightning Network if enabled on a profile, which a lot big accounts To have. It’s unclear how this feature differs from Damus’ zap feature, as both use Lightning and don’t rely on in-app purchases.
Faced with uncertainty, Casarin expressed his concerns, stating, “If people can’t p2p transactions freely on their platform, that has huge implications for the entire ecosystem of apps with Lightning and v4v integration.” The statement reflects the seriousness of the situation and the potential ramifications for the broader ecosystem of decentralized social media applications.
In another note posted to Nostr, Casarin said “it’s been an honor zapping with you all”, implying that the most likely next step is removing zaps to comply with App Store regulations. . Responses to the note expressed their support and appreciation for the creation of the app, and hope that the zaps will return at some point.
Warren Davidson, US Congressman issued a statement on Twitter which read in part, “Permissionless peer-to-peer payments are key to defending freedom.” Additionally, Twitter founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted at Apple CEO Tim Cook saying the feature “has the ability to bring people from around the world into the economy without the traditional gatekeepers. Please reconsider @tim_cook.