Twitter and Apple Conflict Sparks As the Tech Giant Pulls Back on Ads

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on November 29, 2022

Twitter and Apple have come together to create the latest drama after Elon’s takeover. First, Twitter Blue faltered, then came verification issues and imposter accounts. After that, the mass firings were met with technical problems and insufficient staff to solve things quickly, which saw full movies go up on the platform. Now, Twitter and Apple are at odds as Musk claims Apple has “mostly stopped” its Twitter ads.

Musk made his claims via tweet, with the Chief Twit remarking that Apple was cutting back on its Twitter advertising. He followed his comment that they had stopped the ads by asking if Apple hates “free speech.” Musk then continued on to publish a poll asking whether Apple should “publish all censorship actions” taken that impact customers.

  • Musk also retweeted content from other companies that Apple previously engaged in moderated discussions with.
  • Additionally, a 1984 parody video from Epic Games was retweeted. The video is part of a dispute between Apple and Epic Games after it took Fortnite off the App Store, and it suggests that Apple has an “App Store Monopoly.”

Musk has commented on more than just the advertisements. He also returned to a previous topic of his, which is a discussion of Apple’s high fees for in-app purchases. Monday, he posted a meme about preferring to “go to war” than pay the 30% commission to the tech giant. There was also some wondering on Musk’s part as to whether Apple might also go after another one of his companies, Tesla.

  • The criticism of the high fees on in-app purchases is likely connected to Musk’s desire to monetize Twitter and Twitter Blue subscriptions, which fall under the in-app category. While there are workarounds, it risks getting Twitter kicked out of the App Store.

It is not as sudden as it might appear. Apple App Store chief Phil Schiller deactivated his account on Twitter after Musk took ownership of the company. More specifically, the departure took place after Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s account. While Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, remains on the platform, there are clear indications that executives at the company are not fond of Twitter’s current direction. Twitter and Apple seem especially disagreeable where content moderation is concerned.

Apple is not alone. Twitter and Apple are not the only ones at odds. Other major advertisers have also started pulling back from the platform. Nonprofit Media Matters published a report saying that half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have left since Musk’s takeover.

  • The advertisers accounted for $2 billion in 2020 and $750 million in 2022, so the loss could hit Twitter hard. Twitter and Apple breaking their relationship would represent another major chunk that could negatively affect the company.
  • Some of the companies no longer running ads on the social media platform include AT&T, CNN, Coca-Cola, Verizon, and Wells Fargo.
  • Reportedly, Musk tried to convince advertisers to remain on the platform, going so far as to call some of the CEOs personally.

Why does it matter? Revenue aside, the matter between Twitter and Apple could represent a major blow due to how many people use the Twitter app when accessing the platform. Moreover, it is not a problem specific to Twitter and Apple since Google could potentially remove Twitter from its app store if moderation continues to be an issue.

Musk plans to make a new phone if he has to. Twitter would not be the first social network to be kicked out of the Apple and Google app stores. The same happened to Parler, though it was eventually reinstated. However, according to Musk, if Twitter is removed from the stores, he will “make an alternative phone,” though he said he hopes that is unnecessary.

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Spencer Hulse is the Editorial Director at Grit Daily. He is responsible for overseeing other editors and writers, day-to-day operations, and covering breaking news.

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