Elon Musk’s Twitter still appears to be struggling with how to turn its subscription service, Twitter Blue, into a money maker.
According to The Information, the company now plans to charge $7 for Twitter Blue if users pay for it through the web, and $11 if they pay for it through its iPhone app.
This is probably a way to compensate for Apple’s 30% cut (sometimes called Apple Tax) on apps bought through the App Store (provided the app’s developer makes more than $1 million per year through the App Store).
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As MacRumors pointed out, Apple does not object to developers charging more for subscriptions through an iPhone app than they do on the web, with one example being Spotify, who has been critical of the Apple Tax many times in the past. The company charges $9.99 for a monthly subscription on the web and $12.99 through Apple’s App Store, and at one point it even urged customers to unsubscribe at Apple and re-subscribed through the web.
Musk recently had a short-lived spat with Apple, in which he complained about the Apple Tax, claimed that Apple has threatened to ban Twitter from its App Store, and said he was ready to build his own smartphone should Apple do anything of the sort. Following a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Musk said he had a “good conversation” with Cook, who reassured him that Apple never consider removing Twitter from its App Store.
To make money off of Twitter Blue – with or without Apple Tax – Twitter first needs to figure out what it wants to do with it.
After making Twitter’s “Official” blue checkmark a perk of Twitter Blue, which caused a wave of impersonations and fake news on the platform, Twitter made the subscription service unavailable as it, as Musk put it, needed “some tweaks.” Among other upcoming changes, Musk said there will ultimately be three checkmarks in different colors: gold for companies, grey for governments, and blue for individuals, with all accounts manually authenticated before the check is activated. Twitter Blue’s relaunch has been delayed several times already, and there’s no set date for its return at writing time.