Apple legalizes and taxes in-app tipping for content creators


Apple has activated a new revenue stream that could foster communities of digital content creators around the world like those already thriving in China. Apple’s newly published update to its App Store policies officially designates voluntary tipping via virtual currency as in-app purchases that Apple taxes 30 percent. By taking tipping out of the grey area, more app developers might institute digital tip jars as an alternative way to get creators paid without having to offer ad revenue sharing.

Chinese live-streaming video apps like Yinke and Yizhibo have long embraced tipping, allowing viewers to tip or give virtual gifts to the stars they watch in exchange for extra attention from the performer or just as a show of gratitude. American live-streaming apps like Facebook Live and…

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