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Apple again extends in-app purchase deadline for live virtual events

For the third time, Apple extended the in-app purchase deadline for apps offering live virtual events

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Apple agreed to again extend its deadline before requiring developers to use App Store in-app purchases for paid online virtual group events.

Apple today announced a deadline extension to December 31, 2021, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After that date, any app offering paid virtual events through iOS apps will need to use in-app purchases, paying Apple's 30% or 15% cut.

The commission doesn't apply to ticketing for real-world events, only those held within App Store apps virtually.

Apple's statement:

Last year, to support apps that adapted services from in-person to digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily deferred the requirement to offer paid online group event services (one-to-few and one-to-many realtime services) through in-app purchase in accordance with App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1. As the world continues to recover from the pandemic, we'd like to support the communities that are still providing digital services in place of in-person group events by extending the deadline further to December 31, 2021.

Apple introduced its updated rule in September 2020 alongside broader changes to the company's App Store Review Guidelines. Although initially slated to go into effect immediately, Apple agreed to delay enforcement of the rule after pushback from developers such as Facebook, ClassPass, and Airbnb.

Apple's first extension moved the deadline to December 2020. In November, the iPhone maker extended the deadline a second time to June. Today's new date now has the deadline falling a full year after the first extension.

In addition to the in-person exemption, two-person virtual events can also avoid the requirements. For example, group exercise or yoga classes would need to use Apple's in-app purchase system. However, one-on-one tutoring sessions, medical consultations, and real estate tours could use an alternative purchase method.