Elon Musk has chosen “Go to War” on a 15%-30% fee on digital purchases made through apps on App Store. In a series of tweets on Monday morning, Musk informed that Apple might remove Twitter from App Store.
“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” the Twitter owner tweeted.
Musk also claimed that Apple has withheld most of its advertising from Twitter, purportedly, as censorship actions. Kicking off a poll on Twitter, he asked people to vote on: “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers.”
The problem seems to arise out of Musk’s plan to raise revenue through subscriptions to its Twitter Blue verified accounts. As per the existing App Store fees, Twitter will have to part as much as 30% of such income, which may run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
Another area where their interests clash is content moderation. After Musk took over Twitter, he removed a large number of employees and it has significantly brought down the workforce in the content moderation department. Twitter is the only social media platform that allows adult content.
Apple carries out a regular check on apps on App Store and has in the past removed some for not following its content moderation policies or trying to get around its fees on digital purchases through the apps on its store. Twitter under Musk may run foul with Apple on both counts. Media reports suggest that Apple is proactively watching the developments at Twitter and has set in motion its action plan.
Apple’s advertising on Twitter for the first quarter of 2022 amounted to $48 million or 4% of Twitter’s total revenue for that period.
A Reuters report said Apple’s ad spend on Twitter declined from $220,800 for October 16-22 to $131,600 for November 10-16. Musk closed the twitter deal in the intervening period on October 28.