Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Super Follows and IAP

Juli Clover:

Twitter today announced the official launch of Super Follows, a new feature that allows creators to provide subscriber-only content that requires a paid fee to access.

Hartley Charlton:

Each Twitter Super Follow subscription is an individual in-app purchase for every account with the feature set up, it has emerged.

The unusual system, spotted by Jane Manchun Wong, means that for every Super Follow there is an individual in-app purchase for that account specifically. Some observers are speculating that each Super Follow in-app purchase will have to be set up manually by Twitter on the App Store, making the system even more unconventional.


The App Store does not allow for multiple instances of the same subscription, leading other platforms such as YouTube and Twitch to get around this by effectively allowing users to buy a sub-token that can be directed toward a specific creator.


Apple only allows developers to create up to 10,000 in-app purchases, so it is not clear if Twitter will limit the users eligible to sell Super Follows at 10,000 minus Ticketed Spaces and Twitter Blue.

And yet Apple expects Amazon to use this system to sell 9 million Kindle books.

John Gruber (tweet):

This is incredible. Ostensibly, Twitter is doing what Apple wants them to do. Right now Super Follows payments are even exclusive to iOS. (Once you pay on iOS, you can see Super Follow content on Twitter’s Android and web clients, too, but the only way to pay is on iOS through IAP.) But Apple’s IAP system is so brittle that Twitter has to make a discrete SKU for each and every Super Follow user, and pay Apple 30 percent of the price for the privilege. (Twitter, per its published terms, takes just 3 percent of the first $50,000 in lifetime earnings, then 20 percent after that.) Also, because Apple’s IAP listings in the App Store rank IAP offerings by popularity, Twitter is being forced to reveal data that they quite likely would prefer to keep to themselves.

Buzz Andersen:

This is bonkers and really illustrates the ways that Apple’s IAP rules severely constrain the possible business models on its platform.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

This whole system seems designed to showcase just how ridiculous the hoops Apple makes apps jump through with IAP policies are. App Review, too, theoretically has to review each individual in-app purchase, and each one has to include a screenshot.

Steve Moser:

Twitter’s latest beta update introduces support for providing content creators with Bitcoin tips using the “Tip Jar” feature that Twitter introduced earlier this year. Bitcoin isn’t yet available to select as a tip option for beta users, but code in the beta suggests that Twitter is in the process of rolling it out.


Update (2021-09-08): frijole:

reminds me of when comixology had to list every comic via IAP -- and the rejections

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

Isn't this what consumable IAPs are for? Can't they make one of those for each price level, and then you "consume" by following one particular user?

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