(The Hill) – Twitter announced it will relaunch its subscription service on Monday, although prices will be higher for Apple users in an apparent jab at the tech giant’s fees on in-app purchases.
The social media company said users can subscribe to Twitter Blue, which includes a blue checkmark, editing abilities, and 1080-pixel video uploads, for $8 per month if purchased through the web and $11 per month if purchased on an Apple device.
New Twitter CEO Elon Musk has taken aim at Apple’s 30 percent commission on in-app purchases, calling it a “secret 30% tax” in a tweet late last month.
“Literally 10 times higher than it should be,” Musk said of the fee in May.
Musk had also sparred with Apple in recent days over concerns that the iPhone maker had threatened to pull Twitter from its app store. The Tesla CEO said Apple had “mostly stopped advertising” on Twitter and asked if the company “hated free speech” in a tweet.
Musk met with Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company’s headquarters late last month, and Musk indicated they had resolved their “misunderstanding.”
Twitter also announced on Saturday it will begin replacing an “official” account label given to many prominent businesses with a gold checkmark, while government and multilateral accounts will receive gray checkmarks.
Musk has made the paid service one of his hallmark initiatives after taking over Twitter, taking aim at the platform’s legacy verification service that offered blue checks to notable individuals and brands.
But Twitter paused the rollout of Twitter Blue last month after accounts given blue checkmarks through the paid service impersonated prominent accounts, like pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and the NBA’s LeBron James.
The paid service did not require users to actually verify their identities to receive a blue checkmark, and Twitter’s announcement on Sunday indicates users will now undergo a review process before receiving one, although the specifics of the review remain unclear.
Musk has made multiple major changes to Twitter since taking ownership of the company in late October.
He has laid off more than half of the company’s existing staff, reinstated former President Trump’s account and signaled a desire to shift Twitter’s revenue streams away from advertising dollars.