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Elon Musk delaying new Twitter verification rollout amid fight with Apple

Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum’s 21st Annual Halloween Party presented by Now Screaming x Prime Video and Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur at Sake No Hana at Moxy Lower East Side on 31 October 2022 in New York City (Getty Images for Heidi Klum)
Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum’s 21st Annual Halloween Party presented by Now Screaming x Prime Video and Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur at Sake No Hana at Moxy Lower East Side on 31 October 2022 in New York City (Getty Images for Heidi Klum)

Elon Musk is delaying the rollout of Twitter’s new verification process, amid a fight with Apple, according to a new report.

Mr Musk has repeatedly attempted to introduce a new version of Twitter’s premium “Twitter Blue” subscription. He has increased the price to $8 and offered the option to have a blue checkmark next to a user’s name, which until now indicated that an account has been verified as really belonging to a person.

Attempts to launch the feature have seen widespread impersonation and other criticism, leaving Mr Musk to rollout and then almost immediately retract the feature. He suggested that it would relaunch this week – but it has not arrived.

Now Mr Musk is postponing the launch because of a fight with Apple over the cut it takes from payments on the App Store, according to reports in Platformer and The Verge.

When Twitter’s “Blue” service was first launched, it was only available through the Twitter app on iOS. It is not clear whether Mr Musk intends to force users to sign up elsewhere or to circumvent Apple’s payment fees in another way.

The new Twitter boss has been publicly criticising Apple’s App Store fees, calling them a “hidden 30 per cent tax on the internet”. He also appears to have taken against the company because it has reduced advertising on the platform, and said that it has “threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why”.

Apple has pulled other social networks from the store because of content moderation problems in the past. The controversial app Parler was pulled because it was unable to demonstrate that it was properly checking posts on the platform, for instance.

Apple is yet to respond to any of Mr Musk’s attacks on the company.