Apple may have threatened to remove the Twitter app from the App Store as part of its app review moderation process, at least that is what the new Twitter owner Elon Musk claimed recently in a series of tweets. This is what the world’s richest man tweeted: “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”
Musk called Apple’s App Store fees a “secret 30% tax,” in the other tweets, while also creating a poll where he asked Twitter users if “Apple should publish all censorship actions it has taken that affect its customers,” and claimed that Apple has pulled most of its advertising from Twitter, reported CNBC.
The only way to distribute software to iPhones is the Apple Store, and although the service is available for the web, the social network would lose one of its main distribution platforms if the Twitter app were pulled.
iPhone app makers are required by Apple to pay between 15% and 30% of any digital goods sold through their apps. But Musk’s plan for the social media platform, as he says, is to raise billions of dollars from subscriptions, such as Twitter Blue, which is offered through the iPhone app. So Apple would collect hundreds of millions of dollars in the process if it were to grow to Musk’s goals.
For its App Store fees and policies from companies such as Spotify and Epic Games, the iPhone company has faced challenges, but Musk may represent Apple’s biggest challenge to its control over iPhone app distribution so far, as he is no stranger to attracting worldwide attention.
According to a New York Times op-ed by Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, after Musk took over and the site saw a wave of hate speech earlier this month, representatives for unnamed app stores, which include Apple’s App Store as well as Google Play for Android devices, reached out to Twitter.
Apparently, Apple’s former chief marketer who oversees App Review, Phil Schiller, deleted his Twitter account earlier this month following Musk’s purchase of the social media platform.
Schiller’s move to delete his account reminded Phillip Shoemaker of a company making moves to “prepare for war.” Shoemaker is the former head of Apple’s app review and the current CEO of Identity.com.
It is believed by him that Apple’s app review department is keeping a close eye on Twitter’s content moderation under Musk to see if more questionable content, such as porn, slips through.
Shoemaker said that Apple’s recent moves are “like when you remove troops from a country before you attack.”
“You’re thinking you’re going to have to pull these apps from the store,” he added.