Elon Musk: Apple threatened to yank Twitter from App Store | Tech News

Elon Musk: Apple threatened to yank Twitter from App Store

Elon Musk accused Apple Inc of threatening to block Twitter Inc from its app store.

By:REUTERS
| Updated on: Nov 29 2022, 16:58 IST
In Pics: Your Twitter has been changed forever by Elon Musk
Twitter
1/7 Twitter top officials fired: As soon as Musk took over Twitter, he fired the top executives including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal, legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. That was the first decision taken by Musk at Twitter. On Friday, Twitter also laid off 50 percent of its employees and Musk defended the step by saying that this is being done in an effort to place Twitter on a profitable path. (AFP)
Twitter
2/7 Charges for Blue Tick: Twitter users who want a verified account will now have to pay charges for the same as Twitter will now charge $8 for Blue Tick. Musk supported the decision by posting a number of tweets regarding the same. He believes the subscription fee will give Twitter 'a revenue stream to reward content creators' while the company will not have to depend on advertisers. (REUTERS)
Twitter
3/7 Twitter Content Moderation Council: Twitter will set up a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints. The council will be accountable for all main content-related decisions. (AFP)
Twitter
4/7 Advertisers: General Motors, General Mills, Audi of America, Oreo maker Mondelez International, Pfizer Inc and Ford are some of the corporate companies who have distanced themselves from Twitter. Several advertisers have suspended ad spending on Twitter altogether. (REUTERS)
Twitter
5/7 Changes to Twitter's homepage: Musk requested that users who have logged out of Twitter and visit the homepage of Twitter's site to be redirected to the Explore page which shows trending tweets and news stories, according to a report by Verge. (REUTERS)
Twitter
6/7 Vine: Musk put up a poll on Twitter asking people if he should bring back Vine. (AP)
Twitter
7/7 Removal of Days of Rest: Days of Rest has been removed from the calendars of the Twitter employees. It can be known that the Days of Rest refers to the monthly days off to let employees rest and recharge. (AP)
Twitter
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In the first quarter of 2022, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter, spending $48 million. (Bloomberg)

Elon Musk accused Apple Inc of threatening to block Twitter Inc from its app store without saying why in a series of tweets on Monday that also said the iPhone maker had stopped advertising on the social media platform.

The billionaire CEO of Twitter and Tesla said Apple was pressuring Twitter over content moderation demands.

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The action, unconfirmed by Apple, would not be unusual as the company has routinely enforced its rules and previously removed apps such as Gab and Parler.

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Parler, which is popular with U.S. conservatives, was restored by Apple in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices, the companies said at the time.

"Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?," Musk, who took Twitter private for $44 billion last month, said in a tweet.

He later tagged Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook's Twitter account in another tweet, asking "what's going on here?"

Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"It wasn't clear to me how far up the Apple food chain that idea went internally and without knowing that, it isn't clear how seriously to take any of this," said Randal Picker, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

The world's most valuable firm spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16, down from $220,800 between Oct. 16 and Oct. 22, the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal, according to ad measurement firm Pathmatics.

In the first quarter of 2022, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter, spending $48 million and accounting for more than 4% of total revenue for the period, the Washington Post reported, citing an internal Twitter document.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the report. 'GO TO WAR' Among the list of grievances tweeted by Musk was the up to 30% fee Apple charges software developers for in-app purchases, with Musk posting a meme suggesting he was willing to "go to war" with Apple rather than paying the commission.

The fee has drawn criticism and lawsuits from companies such as Epic Games, the maker of 'Fortnite', while attracting the scrutiny of regulators globally.

The commission could weigh on Musk's attempts to boost subscription revenue at Twitter, in part to make up for the exodus of advertisers over content moderation concerns.

Companies from General Mills Inc to luxury automaker Audi of America have stopped or paused advertising on Twitter since the acquisition, and Musk said earlier this month that the company had seen a "massive" drop in revenue.

Ad sales account for about 90% of Twitter's revenue.

The self-described free speech absolutist, whose company has in the past few days reinstated several Twitter accounts including that of former U.S. President Donald Trump, has blamed activist groups for pressuring advertisers.

Ben Bajarin, the head of consumer technologies at research firm Creative Strategies, said that Musk may be reading too much into a regular process Apple goes through in app review.

"App review from Apple is not perfect by any means and a consistently frustrating process for developers but from what I hear it is a two-way conversation," he said.

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First Published Date: 29 Nov, 16:46 IST
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