Around the iOS 14 release, Apple raised some concerns about our iOS app and deemed that Brave Rewards was not compliant with their guidelines 3.1.1 and 3.2.2, and required immediate remedies. Brave Rewards is built on the Basic Attention Token (BAT) and is a new way to value attention, connecting users, content creators, and advertisers. Users are rewarded in BAT with 70% of the ad revenue share of the privacy-preserving ads they opt into viewing, and they can support content creators they love by rewarding them with BAT. There are currently over 985,000 Brave verified content creators.
Apple’s guideline 3.1.1 prevents apps from allowing users to give to, or tip a person, company, or service — unless what is given is purchased via an Apple in-app purchase. Brave users who had opted into our Brave Rewards system could give their BAT to a verified creator and support their content via a feature we call Tipping, but going forward this won’t be possible on iOS.
Guideline 3.2.2 prevents something loosely termed “tasks for cash.” The principle of this guideline aims to prevent apps from asking users to give them a 5 star rating in return for points or access levels in a game, for example. Though this example was never the case with Brave, the Apple review team likened the opt-in viewing of Brave Ads, and in return the earning of BAT rewards, as “tasks for cash.” Therefore, our iOS app will no longer be able to reward users with BAT for viewing opt-in, privacy-preserving Brave Ads; however, each month Brave will strive to support verified websites with BAT donations in order to keep funding great content. Our hope is that our iOS users will continue to opt into Brave Ads, as revenue from those will help us support the aforementioned creators. Furthermore, links in our newly released Brave News go directly to the source of the content so publishers can maintain their relationships with their readers instead of losing them to a Google or Facebook proxy experience.
Though we are disappointed with this update, Brave users will still enjoy the same fast and privacy-preserving iOS browser they know. Brave’s focus is and has always been on putting users first, and we will continue to work with Apple to address this issue and to bring innovative solutions to iOS, especially ones that benefit users and creators such as our recent VPN+Firewall product and Brave’s news reader for iOS that was announced today. We remain hopeful that we can share positive news in the near future.
Brave iOS users who previously accumulated BAT via Brave Rewards will be able to transfer it to their Brave desktop browser in an upcoming release.