Elon Musk has just “discovered” that Apple is charging a 30% fee for payments made from apps installed from the App Store, deciding to postpone the relaunch of Twitter Blue subscriptions until an alternative way around the fee is found.
The decision comes in the wake of several tweets in which the Twitter chief showed his disapproval of Apple’s policies on charging 30% for payments initiated from iOS apps, calling it a “hidden 30% internet tax.
Apple, admittedly, only applies this level of tax to companies with annual sales over $1 million, lowering the threshold to 15% to encourage small app developers.
But for Twitter this concession does not apply, with Apple to receive more than a quarter of the earnings from Twitter Blue subscription sales. And Musk is under even more pressure to avoid the tax, since the questionable measures he’s taken since taking over the company have alienated most advertising customers.
Available briefly before being withdrawn, Twitter Blue subscriptions could only be ordered from the iOS version of the app, and were withdrawn after it emerged that one of the benefits offered, the “Official” badge, was being abused by users who managed to gain the privilege unfairly.
Subsequently, Elon Musk said that Apple threatened Twitter with delisting from the App Store if the company refused to pay the commission required for sales of Twitter Blue subscriptions. In response, the Twitter chief said he would consider developing a new software ecosystem for smartphones if forced to by Apple and Google.