Reports indicate that Elon Musk is on track to complete his purchase of the mildly popular birding website Twitter dot com as of this Friday, which is when he has been ordered by the judge in the ongoing legal battle to do so. Closing the deal will undoubtedly have huge consequences, for Twitter employees themselves; for global political leaders; for news media; and possibly for Apple and its escalating in-app purchase land grab.
Apple this week updated its developer guidelines, restoring the wall in its yard where gaps previously existed around digital revenue opportunities for third-party developers. One focuses on crypto and NFTs, but another seeks rent on social network revenue around promoted posts, including paid promotional efforts in, say, Meta’s Facebook and Instagram apps. Those rules also apply to Twitter, but that social network is already using Apple’s IAP program to enable them on iOS devices, meaning the iPhone maker is already getting its share.
If Twitter is cool with Apple’s skim, then everything should be fine… except Musk has delved into the wider debate about what’s reasonable for Apple to charge its partners when it comes to digital transactions on the internet. his platform. Early Wednesday, the founder of the billionaire series tweeted a comment to his longtime investor Bill Lee who agrees that “30% is a lot” for Apple to charge developers for IAP transactions. This is not the first time he disapproved of the fee, either.
At this point, Musk has little interest in this battle, but that could change significantly this Friday, especially as he looks for ways to increase Twitter’s revenue once he takes control. Apple already has its fair share of influential opposition from vocal developers, including Epic’s Tim Sweeney and Spotify’s Daniel Ek, but the influence Musk wields with his zealous troll army is on a whole other level.
A Musk-owned Twitter will have ripple effects that stretch far and wide, but this could be one that shakes up some of the foundations on which the modern tech ecosystem is built.