This is something that depends precisely on a court decision, but for now all developers must comply with the rules of the App Store and use Apple’s integrated payment system. Therefore, these developers have to adapt to the way this system is built.
Obviously Apple makes its APIs available to programmers to make this work comfortable, but there are sometimes companies that implement it in a … curious way. This is what appears to have happened with the new Twitter Super Follows.
One user, one dedicated subscription in the App Store
Twitter recently introduced this feature to compete with services like Patreon: Twitter users will be able to offer subscriptions to their followers to access exclusive content, not accessible to others. Subscription in iOS is done through an in-app purchase from the App Store, but it looks like the system generates a one-time in-app purchase for each user who sets up these Super Follows.
It works, I’m not saying no, but on a scalability level it can turn into a nightmare. Jane Manchun Wong has a screenshot of these purchases in which the purchase is distinguished for each user:
Each Super Follow is an In-App purchase on the App Store,
but since there are too many IAPs for the Twitter app, the App Store only shows 10 instead of the full list pic.twitter.com/PPT3bQDCJz
– Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 2, 2021
Does this mean that there is an algorithm that generates a new purchase every time a user establishes their Super Follows? Or worse, let someone do it manually. I want to think that this can be a temporary system, while the previous phase of Super Follows lasts, which is limited to a limited number of people. Otherwise, someone is going to have to work hard to maintain this. And let’s not say when these payments are extended to the rest of the platforms.