In the next phase of Twitter Blue’s journey in the Musk era, it will have a variable cost for potential subscribers. If users subscribe to it through the app on their iPhones, then they will be charged $11 per month to offset the 30% that Apple will be taking as its cut from in-app purchases. Subscribing to Twitter Blue on the web, in contrast, will cost them less – $7 per month.
Since November, Twitter Blue has had a topsy-turvy journey as CEO Elon Musk continues his efforts to turn it into a cash cow. In the beginning, it was expanded to include paid verification, Edit tweets, and more, as it went through a complete revamp. However, offering the verified “Blue Tick” to anyone quickly resulted in pandemonium and chaos due to the rise of a plethora of fake accounts on the platform, which resulted in Twitter Blue being halted on November 11.
Later, Musk announced a further revamp to the verification system, which includes not only a grey “Official” label but also different color-coded check marks. Companies will get the gold check mark, governments get grey ones, and individuals – celebs and non-celebs alike – get blue ones.
According to The Information, Twitter informed some of its employees of the change in its pricing – it was earlier available at $7.99 per month – on Wednesday. The change in the pricing will be effective once the subscription service relaunches, provided Musk does not make any more last-minute changes – which he is known to do – so the new pricing is not set in stone, yet.
The relaunch of the subscription service at two price points is very likely Twitter’s – and therefore Musk’s – answer to the 30% commission that Apple charges on in-app purchases. With a higher subscription rate for those who subscribe via the Twitter app on iPhones, Twitter ensures that its bottom line is unaffected.
Apple’s steep commission for in-app purchases has landed it in hot waters in several parts of the world. In fact, the iPhone maker has, at times, bowed to regulatory pressure and allowed developers to communicate with customers regarding the use of alternative payment methods and avoid the exorbitant commission that Apple charges.
This development also comes after Twitter – instigated by Musk – and Apple had a short dispute last week. The billionaire took a dig at Apple’s App Store commissions on transactions on its platform, adding that Apple had threatened to remove Twitter from its App Store. Media reports informed that the Cupertino-headquartered company had also stopped advertising on Twitter – amidst a mass exodus of advertisers from the platform – before Musk backed away from several of his comments after a meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook.