Twitter is – yes, once again – relaunching its Twitter Blue premium subscription this Monday with a surprising change to the product’s pricing as iOS users will pay $2 more per month from now on.
According to Twitter’s official account on the social media platform, the cost of Twitter Blue will be $8 per month for users who subscribe via the company’s official website. However, iOS users will have to pay $11 per month if they opt to complete the subscription through the app.
we’re relaunching @TwitterBlue on Monday – subscribe on web for $8/month or on iOS for $11/month to get access to subscriber-only features, including the blue checkmark pic.twitter.com/DvvsLoSO50
— Twitter (@Twitter) December 10, 2022
Android users will be able to complete the purchase on Twitter’s website as well to have access to the lower $8 fee. However, it appears that Apple’s policies don’t allow companies to redirect iOS users to a website to make what would otherwise be an in-app purchase.
Several changes have been introduced to Twitter Blue months after Musk first revealed his plans to ramp up the program as he believes the social company should bring most of its revenues from this source.
What are the Benefits of the New Twitter Blue Subscription?
According to Twitter, the premium subscription will allow users to edit their tweets, upload high-resolution videos, browse through the app in reader mode, and verify their accounts. This last benefit has been the most controversial. Initially, users exploited Blue’s verifications to impersonate corporate accounts and celebrities by changing their handles right after they got the so-called “blue check”.
With the new Blue, Twitter users will only receive their verification badge after the Twitter team has conducted a review of the account. The specific criteria that users must fulfill have not been disclosed by the company.
Twitter’s official website state that the subscription will only be available to users within the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia for now. However, according to the company’s head of product, Esther Crawford, once the firm gets the core features right, the program should be expanded to other regions.
To get rid of some of the confusion that led to the failure of Twitter Blue’s 2.0 version, the first one introduced during the Musk era), the company will replace the current “Official” label it granted to verified corporate accounts with a gold checkmark while government entities and multilateral accounts will receive a grey checkmark.
Moreover, users who get a verified “checkmark” for subscribing to Blue will have to go through another review if they decide to change their Twitter handle, display name, or profile picture.
Why is Twitter Increasing the Price of Blue for iOS users?
The decision to offer a higher price comes after Elon Musk brought up the topic of how elevated Apple’s commissions were for this kind of transaction – reportedly 30%. The head of Tesla (TSLA) also mentioned that the iPhone had halted its advertising campaigns on Twitter shortly after Musk made these comments.
Apple has been accused by both companies and regulators of taking advantage of the monopoly it has on mobile apps for the devices it manufactures to charge elevated commissions. The company’s policies prevent developers to use third-party payment processors and they may get banned from the store altogether if they are caught doing so.
One of the most notable disputes came from Epic Games, the creators of the popular video game Fortnite. The conflict started in 2020 when the company started allowing users to make purchases within the app instead of processing the transactions by using the Apple (AAPL) App Store’s proprietary payment system.
The iPhone maker responded ruthlessly and immediately took down the app, alleging that Epic Games was in breach of the App Store’s policies in this particular matter. Epic sued the company headed by Tim Cook shortly afterward but lost the battle in court – at least for now.
Epic Games is appealing the judge’s ruling on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The proceeding began on 14 November this year. Epic’s actions have, however, prompted regulators to take a closer look at Apple’s practices. Recently, legislators in Europe and other countries have been working on new laws that may end up regulating the mobile app market.
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