As soon as the layoffs are over, Apple and Google will be hit, and Musk will also complain about the “Apple Tax”

Musk, who has been working on "hardware", should have a lot of new troubles after buying Twitter.

After all, building cars, building rockets, and researching brain-computer interfaces are all technology-first, and industries that require coordination and cooperation have professional brands and suppliers. But switching to a management platform with hundreds of millions of users, the supervision of government regulations in different countries around the world, the rules of different app stores, and users with different ideas…

For Musk, Twitter was a whole new puzzle. Maybe he also thought about various possibilities before buying this platform, but the series of layoffs at the beginning and the new problems caused by the Twitter Blue function are probably not thought of by Musk in advance.

Now, Musk said that the layoffs are over, but Twitter’s problems are still one after another, and the new problems are still related to the two trillion companies of Apple and Alphabet.

Alphabet, Apple are the "judges" of apps

Apple and Alphabet own the two largest app stores in the world, and their influence on apps can be seen from Meta.

Like Twitter, Meta is laying off staff. There are many reasons for the layoffs of this nearly 90,000-person company, but one of them is related to Apple.

In 2021, after iOS 14.5 is made available to the public, Apple will also start enforcing the "App Tracking Transparency" policy. The uncertainty brought about by this new policy is that Meta estimates that this rule change is expected to cause about $10 billion in lost revenue in 2022.

As long as you want to list the two app stores with the most users, you have to play by the rules of the app stores. From this point of view, the app store is the first judge that each app encounters. If it is qualified, it will be put on the shelf, if it is not, it will be rectified, and it will be put on the shelf after it meets the requirements of the platform.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s departing director of trust and safety, said: “When I left the company, the calls from the app store review team had already started.” Apple and Alphabet have many regulations on the apps on the shelves, which will directly affect Malaysia Whether Twitter 2.0 in Sik's heart can be put on the app store.

The encrypted currency payment that Musk is thinking about is difficult to appear on Twitter, because as long as it is on the App Store, the in-app purchase does not support encrypted currency payment, and Musk's idea is also difficult to realize.

Secondly, both app stores have certain requirements for the content services provided by apps.

Roth revealed that on the eve of the release of a major feature, App Store reviewers discovered pornographic and racist content on the platform. The reviewers not only sent screenshots to Twitter, but also confirmed whether Twitter allows similar content to appear. These review teams suggested to Twitter staff that if such issues are not resolved, the application may be delayed or even not allowed to go live.

In addition to Twitter, there are precedents for app stores to deal with inappropriate content on the platform.

In 2020, the App Store and Google play together removed Parler, an app that called for violence. Trump's social media, Truth Social, was delayed for months by wanting to list on Google Play because of the lack of an effective system to review user-generated content.

In this case, the freedom of speech that Musk proposed is also a potential threat to the app store. Even Musk has thought about introducing a subscription service like OnlyFans, which violates the rules of the app store.

The App Store states that if an app is used by users to produce pornographic content, the app may be removed directly; Google Play's policy clearly prohibits pornographic content, hate speech, bullying and harassment; even Amazon's app store has Similar regulations, in addition to expressly prohibited content, Amazon also reminds developers to "always keep in mind that the Amazon Appstore is a family-friendly environment."

While Twitter has been tight-lipped about how many people use the company's mobile apps, their 2021 annual report says: "The release of our new products is dependent on, and may be influenced by, app stores… The review process is unpredictable, Certain decisions (by the App Store) could even hurt our business."

"Could hurt our business" is an understatement. Failure to follow Apple and Google's guidelines would be catastrophic, risking Twitter being kicked out of their app stores and making it harder for billions of potential users to access Twitter's services. This gives Apple and Google enormous power to influence Twitter's decisions.

The app store cut a knife, Musk "heartache"

Before laws and regulations and user public opinion come into play, the app store may block Twitter 2.0, which has too many changes and is unpredictable.

Just before the app store got stuck with an updated version of Twitter, Musk couldn't sit still. Because of the money Twitter makes, a lot of it is made by the app store.

"Don't persuade others to be kind without others' suffering" may be a sentence that Musk feels deeply after studying Twitter's profit prospects. After reading Twitter's subscription revenue, Musk can probably understand Spotify and Epic, which have been entangled with Apple for many years, because Apple wants to take a large part of their revenue.

The iOS/Android duopoly makes app stores charge too much, which is the hidden high 30% tax rate of the Internet.

In 2021, Twitter's revenue will be $5.08 billion. If half of it can belong to user subscription payment as Musk expects, it will be 2.54 billion, and the app store will directly take 10%-50% of the money. For these two companies with a market value of hundreds of millions, this is not much money, but for Twitter, which continues to lose money, this may be the key to turning losses into profits.

If there are more restrictions, money will be allocated. It is foreseeable that the relationship between Twitter 2.0, Alphabet, and Apple will definitely change in the future.

Even when criticizing the "Internet tax" charged by the app store in the future, Musk is likely to become the most influential main "debater".

Not too funny, not too upbeat.

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