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Apple updates App Store policies around NFTs, digital ads; Meta hits back at the changes

App Store Review Guidelines updated on NFTs, cryptocurrencies, alternative payment methods, objectionable content, etc

What's the news: Along with the release of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1, Apple on 24 October updated its App Store Review Guidelines around NFTs, cryptocurrencies, alternative payment methods, digital advertisements, objectionable content, etc. Why does this matter: The updated guidelines tighten the noose around the use of alternative payment methods at a time when regulators around the world are attempting to loosen it and when App Store's Android rival, Google Play, has made big concessions on this front. What are the new guidelines:  Apps cannot use methods other than in-app purchases to unlock content: Apps that want to unlock features or functionality (subscriptions, in-game currencies, game levels, access to premium content, or unlocking a full version) are already required to use Apple's in-app purchase to facilitate the unlocking. To this, the guidelines add a clarification that “apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality, such as license keys, augmented reality markers, QR codes, cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency wallets, etc.” Rules for apps selling NFTs: “Apps may use in-app purchase to sell and sell services related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs), such as minting, listing, and transferring. Apps may allow users to view their own NFTs, provided that NFT ownership does not unlock features or functionality within the app. Apps may allow users to browse NFT collections owned by others, provided that the apps may not include buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms other than in-app purchase," the guidelines now state. This essentially disallows NFTs from being…

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