Twitter has once again delayed the relaunch of its Blue Verified subscription, which according to Elon Musk was supposed to happen yesterday. According to a report from Platformer, this new delay has something to do with the PR fight Elon Musk started with Apple earlier this week.
As it turns out, Twitter wants to avoid the 30% cut Apple takes on in-app purchases on iOS. The company won’t make Twitter Blue available as an in-app purchase as a result, which means iOS users will need to subscribe to Twitter Blue on the web.
According to the report, Twitter will also raise the price of its Blue subscription from $7.99 to $8, and it will also start requiring users to verify their phone numbers. Last week, Musk also explained that there will be new gold and grey checkmarks to distinguish verified individuals from brands and governments on Twitter.
The Platformer report also includes interesting tidbits about Twitter’s ongoing struggles with its advertising revenue. Twitter’s ad revenue in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) is down 15% year over year, and weekly bookings are also down 49 percent, a revenue analyst for Twitter in Europe announced in a Slack message seen by Platformer.
It certainly doesn’t help that Elon Musk laid off most of Twitter’s ads business and trust and safety teams this month. Earlier this week, Musk also publicly accused Apple of pausing its investments in Twitter ads, wondering along the way if Apple execs did so because they “hate free speech in America.”
According to the Financial Times, it doesn’t stop there. “Musk, meanwhile, has sought to personally call chief executives of some brands that have curbed advertising in order to berate them, according to one senior industry figure, leading others to instead reduce their spend to the bare minimum required so as to avoid further confrontation with the billionaire entrepreneur,” the report reads.
Speaking with the Financial Times, Darren Savage, chief strategy officer at the global advertising company Tribal Worldwide, said that Twitter could still bounce back if Musk goes away. “Musk’s best chance of bringing advertisers back to Twitter is to appoint a new CEO,” the ad exec said. “Particularly, one who understands what Twitter is, has the credibility with advertisers, and users — and is then left alone to do their job.”
Twitter had over 89% of its revenue come from advertising last year, and Musk now aims to have subscriptions represent half of the company’s revenue in the future. Even though Musk made a lot of changes to reduce Twitter’s costs, including laying off over half of the company’s workforce, the business magnate previously hinted that Twitter going bankrupt was still a possibility.