Elon Musk says he'll 'go to war' with Apple over its cut of Twitter Blue subs

Elon Musk in front of the Twitter logo
(Image credit: Future)

Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk says he will "go to war" with Apple over the cut it takes from all Twitter Blue subscriptions sold via the App Store.

Apple always takes a cut of transactions via its App Store, and Twitter Blue subscriptions are no different. Twitter launched an updated Twitter Blue last month, allowing anyone to get a blue verified checkmark. Unfortunately, the rollout was canned after it became clear that there was an impersonation problem. But it'll be back, and Musk wants to keep his 30%.

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Musk started his new feud with Apple by suggesting that the company is against free speech. It's thought that Apple and Google are already concerned about the content now available on Twitter following Musk's buyout, with some suggesting that the social network's app could be yanked from the App Store.

He then changed tact, pointing to the "secret 30% tax" that Apple applies to App Store transactions for companies that make more than $1 million per year. The secret tax isn't secret at all, of course — as well Musk knows.

However, Musk then tweeted a meme to suggest that he will take Apple to task over the 30% transaction fee, although it remains to be seen what form that protest will take. If Twitter is indeed removed from the App Store, either voluntarily or by force, a huge portion of its user base will be affected.

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As for why this is happening now, Musk also shared the news that Apple "has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter." Advertisers have been put off the perceived lack of moderation of Twitter since Musk took over, with Apple now confirmed to be one of them.

Musk isn't the first to try to force the issue over App Store fees. Epic Games famously attempted to circumvent the App Store, a move that saw Fortnite kicked off the store. More than two years later, it's yet to return.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.