TikTok announced Jump on Tuesday. It allows third-party providers to offer mini-programs and services that creators can link to within their short videos. Early beta adopters include the cooking app Whisk, which is using the tool to make it easier to save full recipe content.
TikTok Might as Well Jump
Upon reading about it, I did wonder if TikTok was straying into somewhat dangerous territory. The App Store review guidelines make it clear that the additional code and functionality of Jumps is absolutely fine:
Apps may contain or run code that is not embedded in the binary (e.g. HTML5-based games, bots, etc.), as long as code distribution isn’t the main purpose of the app, the code is not offered in a store or store-like interface.
However, the guidelines also state that such add-ons must “be free or purchased using in-app purchase” i.e. using Apple’s in-built system, from which it takes a cut. This is at the heart of many developers’ gripes with the company.
No Issue Yet
For now, there is no problem. TikTok is not suddenly about to become the next Epic Games. A source familiar with the situation told The Mac Observer that the short video app is “focused on creating features and solutions that create a more useful and enriching experience for TikTok users.” They also highlighted that there are no payments within TikTok Jump.
TikTok Jump Rival Offers Purchases
As well as this, they also pointed to the similarity with Snap Minis, released by rival Snapchat about a year ago. These operate in a similar way and do allow purchases e.g. for tickets. Depending on how this functionality develops, then, it could be a problem. And, as we’ve seen with Fortnite, popularity with users doesn’t stop Apple stamping down if it thinks an app is breaking its rules. The Mac Observer reached out to Apple, but the company declined to comment.