Twitter CEO Elon Musk has told users on his platform to pay $8 for its Blue subscription service so many times that it’s hard to imagine him saying anything else. Yet, a week after someone apparently told him that Apple charges a 30% tax on App Store purchases, Musk may be changing his sales pitch for iOS users to “Pay $11”, Gizmodo reported.
The Information appears to be the first to report that Elon Musk has told some employees that the price of Twitter Blue will change depending on which platform people use to buy it. (Unfortunately, it appears that The Information is requiring people to sign in or enter their email in order to read the whole article).
Gizmodo reported that iPhone users would pay $11 for the subscription service instead of Musk’s previously announced $8. Users who buy Twitter Blue on the web, meanwhile, will pay $7, according to The Information. The change is pricing is likely an attempt by Twitter to offset the 30% cut Apple takes from the App Store to users.
MacRumors reported that prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According to The Information, some employees have been briefed on the new pricing, but Twitter CEO Elon Musk is known for making snap decisions, so it is still not clear if plans could change.
According to MacRumors, the higher price point on the iPhone will allow Twitter to provide Apple with its 30 percent cut of in-app purchase proceeds without significantly cutting into Twitter’s bottom line. The pricing difference will likely encourage most customers to subscribe on the web, allowing Twitter to avoid in-app purchase fees.
MacRumors also reported that the Twitter Blue pricing changes come after a short dispute between Twitter and Apple. Musk last week criticized Apple’s App Store fees and claimed that Apple had “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store,” but he later walked that statement back following a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
iPhone In Canada reported that Twitter’s account verification subscription will cost $7 USD per month on the web, but $11 per month on iPhone when it eventually relaunches (according to a report from The Information).
According to iPhone in Canada, Elon Musk, who completed his long-embattled acquisition of Twitter back in October, reworked Twitter Blue to include account verification and a coveted blue checkmark last month. Unfortunately, the subscription led to rampant impersonation on the platform and had to be pulled almost immediately to work out the kinks.
iPhone in Canada also reported: Musk consequently delayed Twitter Blue’s relaunch indefinitely. It was supposed to relaunch on December 2, but there’s still no sign of it. When it does roll out, though Twitter will reportedly overcharge iOS users buying the subscription to offset Apple’s 30% commission on App Store transactions.
Personally, it is unclear to me whether or not it is legally acceptable to charge iPhone users more money for Twitter Blue than Twitter will charge for those using Android phones (who will be charged $7). It appears that the Elon Musk’s intent is to avoid paying the 30% fees that Apple charges. I wonder what Apple would think about that.