App Store on iPhone XS

You Will Soon be Able to Gift In-App Purchases in The App Store

In a language change in the App Store Review Guidelines, Apple has begun paving the way for users to be able to gift in-app purchases. To this point, the gifting of such purchases was not allowed but that appears to be changing.

In section 3.1 of the Review Guidelines, the Payments section, there is a new bullet point describing the gifting of in-app purchases.

  • Apps may enable gifting of items that are eligible for in-app purchase to others. Such gifts may only be refunded to the original purchaser and may not be exchanged.

Previously, the language directly prohibited such action. What this means in practical terms is if you want to send a gift of an in-app purchase (say Fortnight credits for example), you will be able to do that once the developer enables the functionality in their app.

That last point is key. Currently there are no apps that support in-app purchase gifting in the App Store. Given that the language was just added to the guidelines for developers to get their apps reviewed, it means that they have opened up the mechanism for devs to add this to apps and update them in the Store. It will likely be January 2019 at the earliest before we see any apps updated to do this as the submission process goes quiet starting on December 23.

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