In a series of tweets posted on Monday, Elon Musk claimed that the maker of the iPhone had stopped advertising on the social media platform and that Apple Inc. had threatened to block Twitter Inc. from its app store without specifying why.
According to the billionaire Tesla and Twitter CEO, Apple was putting pressure on Twitter regarding content moderation requirements.
Although Apple hasn’t confirmed the move, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary because the company has always followed its rules and removed apps like Gab and Parler in the past.
According to the companies at the time, Parler, which is popular among conservatives in the United States, was restored by Apple in 2021 after the app updated its content and moderation practices.
“Apple has mostly stopped using Twitter to advertise. Is it true that Americans despise free speech? Musk said in a tweet that he sold Twitter for $44 billion last month.
In a subsequent tweet, he tagged Apple CEO Tim Cook’s account and inquired, “What’s going on here?”
Apple did not respond to requests for comment right away.
“It wasn’t obvious to me how far up the Apple pecking order that thought went inside and without knowing that, it isn’t clear how truly to take any of this,” said Randal Picker, a teacher at the College of Chicago Graduate school.
Ad measurement company Pathmatics says that between November 10 and November 16, the world’s most valuable company spent an estimated $131,600 on Twitter ads, down from $220,800 the week before Musk closed the Twitter deal.
According to a Washington Post report that cited an internal Twitter document, Apple was the top advertiser on Twitter in the first quarter of 2022, spending $48 million and accounting for more than 4% of the period’s total revenue.
When Reuters inquired about Twitter’s response to the report, the company did not immediately respond.
Among the rundown of complaints tweeted by Musk was the up to 30% expense Apple charges programming designers for in-application buys, with Musk posting an image proposing he was able to “do battle” with Apple as opposed to paying the commission.
Companies like Epic Games, the developer of “Fortnite,” have criticized the fee and filed lawsuits against it, and regulators around the world have been looking into it.
The commission may hinder Musk’s efforts to increase Twitter’s subscription revenue in part to compensate for advertisers’ departure due to concerns about content moderation.
Since the acquisition, businesses ranging from General Mills Inc. to Audi of America, a luxury automaker, have stopped or halted advertising on Twitter. Musk also stated earlier this month that the company had experienced a “massive” drop in revenue.
About 90% of Twitter’s revenue comes from ads.
The self-described free speech absolutist, whose company recently restored several Twitter accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump, has blamed activist groups for putting advertisers under pressure.
According to Ben Bajarin, the head of consumer technologies at the research firm Creative Strategies, Musk may be putting too much faith in Apple’s standard app review procedure.
He stated, “Apple app review 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 added, “Apple app review is not perfect by any means.”