A proposed move by Elon Musk could see Twitter ads tracking you whether or not you want them to, a new report suggests today. This would appear to be in clear violation of Apple’s App Store rules.
A separate piece describes some of the desperate moves Musk is either taking or considering in order to save money – including breaking the law by refusing to pay severance to former employees …
Twitter ads may track you regardless
Platformer says that Musk appears not to have done the math when he announced Twitter Blue.
Musk had promised that subscribers to the $8-a-month service would see half as many ads as free users. But that would cost the company about $6 in ad revenue per user per month, according to internal estimates. Factor in Apple’s App Store fees — something Musk would later go briefly to war with the company over — and the new Blue promised to lose the company money.
One of Musk’s plans to address this, says the report, is to force all Twitter users to opt in to personalized ads in order to use the app.
It’s not entirely clear how this would be possible on iPhone without breaking Apple’s app review guidelines. Item 3.2.2 (vi) says that you cannot make use of an app contingent on allowing tracking (our emphasis):
Apps should allow a user to get what they’ve paid for without performing additional tasks, such as posting on social media, uploading contacts, checking in to the app a certain number of times, etc. Apps should not require users to rate the app, review the app, watch videos, download other apps, tap on advertisements, enable tracking, or take other similar actions in order to access functionality, content, use the app, or receive monetary or other compensation, including but not limited to gift cards and codes.
That would seem to be setting Musk up for another battle with Apple, not long after he made up with Tim Cook after previously insulting the iPhone maker by accusing it of being opposed to free speech.
Musk desperate to save money
The New York Times reports that Musk continues his cost-cutting efforts, and is seemingly not afraid to break the law to do so. He has ordered employees not to pay a number of bills, including rent on the company’s various offices around the world – and is considering not paying severance pay owed to the employees who were laid off.
To cut costs, Twitter has not paid rent for its San Francisco headquarters or any of its global offices for weeks, three people close to the company said. Twitter has also refused to pay a $197,725 bill for private charter flights made the week of Mr. Musk’s takeover, according to a copy of a lawsuit filed in New Hampshire District Court and obtained by The New York Times.
Twitter’s leaders have also discussed the consequences of denying severance payments to thousands of people who have been laid off since the takeover, two people familiar with the talks said.
Those layoffs haven’t yet ended. Musk disbanded its Trust and Safety Council, and after firing the company’s two most senior lawyers, and replacing them with his personal lawyer, Alex Spiro, the latter is also no longer working at the company, according to six NYT sources.
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