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October 4, 2023


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Twitter blue verified set to launch on Apple’s iOS app: Report

3 min read

Twitter Inc’s Blue verified service is scheduled to roll out on Friday, but only on Apple’s iOS mobile software, according to a report by Reuters news agency. the Information reported on Tuesday, citing a person briefed on the plans.

As Twitter plans to launch the subscription offering via an update to Twitter’s iOS app, it needs Apple’s approval as part of the standard app review process, the report said, adding that the company would update its Android app later.

This comes a day after new owner Elon Musk accused Apple of threatening to block the Twitter from its app store without saying why in a series of tweets 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.

Apple operates an essential gateway for Twitter users: the App Store. If Musk’s company loses access to that, it will be cut off from more than 1.5 billion devices around the world.

The Cupertino, California-based company holds meetings with Twitter to discuss various issues — roughly once a week — just as it does with other major social networking apps, including Facebook and Instagram. Apple has historically relied heavily on Twitter because it doesn’t advertise on Facebook.

Apple joins a number of large companies in scaling back their ads on Twitter since Musk acquired the company for $44 billion last month. The exodus has included General Mills Inc. and Pfizer Inc., and he previously acknowledged that the defections led to a “massive drop” in revenue.

The overall online ad market is in a slump, but marketers are particularly wary about Twitter over fears that it’s becoming more chaotic. Since the takeover, Musk has cut thousands of jobs at Twitter, fueling concerns that the platform won’t be able to combat hate speech and misinformation. A new approach to verifying accounts also opened the door to trolls impersonating major brands, as well as Musk himself.

Musk, 51, is trying to make Twitter less reliant on advertising by steering users toward its Blue subscription service. But ad services generated nearly 90% of its $5.1 billion in revenue last year, with a good chunk coming from Apple.

The barrage of tweets criticizing Apple began with one saying that the company had “mostly stopped advertising on Twitter.” Musk asked: “Do they hate free speech in America?”

He then directed a tweet at Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook: “What’s going on here?” A few minutes later, he claimed that Apple might boot Twitter from its app store “but won’t tell us why.”

Earlier this month, longtime Apple executive Phil Schiller, who oversees the app store, deleted his Twitter account. The timing raised eyebrows. It was shortly after Musk reinstated the account of former President Donald Trump, who had been booted from the platform in the wake of the attack on the US Capitol in January 2021.

Musk had earlier said he would create a content council to review whether to reinstate Trump’s account, but he then made the move based on the results of a Twitter poll instead. “He says the right things, but he does the wrong things and that’s almost worse,” Paskalis said.

Apple’s Cook has continued to use Twitter personally since Musk’s acquisition. He posted a Thanksgiving message last week “wishing everyone a joyful day.”

Musk has previously tweeted that if Twitter is removed from the Apple and Google app stores, he will make an alternative phone that can work with the platform. Fans of the idea — and its detractors — have begun calling it the “Tesla phone”.

(With Bloomberg inputs)

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