Last Friday, the internet was abuzz with news that Apple successfully forced WordPress to monetize its free app thereby forcing it to sell premium plans and custom domain names seemingly just so that Apple could get its traditional 30 percent cut. Apple has finally backed down this latest developer fight, and apologized to WordPress after it tried to force the website-builder to add in-app payments
As a free, open-source platform, WordPress, is used by thousands of website owners and creators. WordPress.com the commercial wing of the business sells premium domain names and web hosting services. These options were not on offer through the free WordPress app, and so Apple’s demand was seen by some as forcing WordPress to monetize a free-to-use app so as to take a cut of the payments. It gave the users packages to purchase and upgrade their WordPress.com storage, get technical support, and other extra features, this offering however brings a business conflict with the App Store team.
As a resulting effect, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg tweeted yesterday that Apple had decided to block the WordPress app for iOS until developers include Apple’s In-App Purchases system, even though the WordPress app technically doesn’t sell anything.
WordPress app for Apple iOS never offered any paid features
While the WordPress app for iOS never offered any paid features, developers included a direct link allowing users to request a plan upgrade through the WordPress website, which was considered by Apple an attempt to bypass its In-App Purchases system.
According to section 3.1.3(b) of the App Store Review Guidelines, even multi-platform apps cannot encourage users to pay for content or subscriptions by any method other than Apple’s In-App Purchases.
Apps that operate across multiple platforms may allow users to access content, subscriptions, or features they have acquired in your app on other platforms or your web site, including consumable items in multiplatform games, provided those items are also available as in-app purchases within the app. You must not directly or indirectly target iOS users to use a purchasing method other than in-app purchase, and your general communications about other purchasing methods must not discourage use of in-app purchase.
Mark Gurman, has reported today that Apple said in a statement that WordPress has agreed to update its iOS app to remove any mention of its paid services. As a result, the WordPress app for iOS is once again allowed on the App Store without In-App Purchases.
We believe the issue with WordPress app has been resolved. Since the developer removed the display of their service payment options from the app, it is now a free stand-alone app and does not have to offer in-app purchases. We have informed the developer and apologize for any confusion that we have caused.
You can get the latest update to the WordPress app in accordance with Apple’s guidelines on the App Store.
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