Elon Musk has claimed that Apple is threatening to remove Twitter from its iOS app store, which could throw off Twitter’s business.
The revelation fell on Monday.
If Apple goes ahead with its plan, it would be devastating for the company that Musk recently bought for $44 billion.
On Monday, Elon Musk made several tweets targeting Apple and its CEO over the alleged move that could ruin Twitter’s business.
“Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why,” Musk tweeted.
In another, the Twitter owner said Apple has largely stopped advertising.
“Do they hate free speech in America,” he asked, referencing his desire to bolster his idea of free speech on Twitter.
“What’s going on here [Apple CEO Tim Cook]?”
Elon Musk also criticized Apple’s size, claiming the tech giant engages in “censorship.”
He then blasted the 30% transaction fee Apple charges major app developers to get their apps up for the app store.
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Elon Musk’s tweets shed light on his relationship with the tech giant.
Before acquiring the social media platform, Musk said when Tesla ran into problems, he considered selling the company to Apple.
However, Cook reportedly refused to meet him.
Removing Twitter from the Apple App Store (or even Google) would damage Twitter’s operations.
The social media platform is already struggling after losing advertisers following its acquisition.
In addition, the company is trying to increase its profits through its subscription business.
Apple has already shown a willingness to remove apps from its App Store due to concerns about harmful content or attempts to circumvent cuts Apple offers on purchases and subscriptions.
For example, Apple removed Parler in January 2021.
Parler was a popular app among conservatives, especially the far right.
Apple removed it after the Capitol attack over concerns about the platform’s ability to detect and moderate hate speech.
However, Parler returned to the App Store after three months following an update on its content moderation practices.
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Earlier this month, Tim Cook had an interview with CBS.
He was asked if Twitter could somehow change that would cause Apple to remove the app from the app store.
“They say that they’re going to continue to moderate and so… I count on them to do that,” said Cook.
“Because I don’t think that anybody really wants hate speech on their platform. So I’m counting on them to continue to do that.”
Yoel Roth, former head of trust and safety at Twitter, also hinted that the company has already received calls from App Store moderators since the Musk acquisition.
Roth said Twitter’s failure to follow Google’s and Apple’s App Store rules could be disastrous.
Phil Schiller, head of Apple’s App Store, deleted his Twitter account last weekend.
While the relationship between Apple and Twitter is unclear, the tech giant recently posted Black Friday announcements on social media.
Meanwhile, many companies have recently reduced their digital ad spending due to the economic downturn.
Twitter probably represents a small portion of Apple’s advertising budget.
However, Apple’s impact could be more remarkable, especially if Musk manages to shift his core business to subscription revenue and potentially pay Apple a 30% cut.