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TECHNOLOGY WARS

Elon Musk says Apple has ‘fully resumed’ advertising on Twitter

Signage at the Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California, US, on 19 July 2021. (Photo: David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)

Elon Musk said Apple has 'fully resumed' advertising on Twitter, further de-escalating a brewing war between two of the world’s most influential tech companies. 

Musk made the comments during a Twitter Spaces conversation on Saturday, adding that Apple is the largest advertiser on the social media network. The billionaire, who didn’t elaborate further on Apple, spoke for more than two hours from his private plane during the chat, which had more than 90,000 listeners.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment sent outside normal working hours.

Musk blasted Apple last week, saying the maker of iPhones and Mac computers had mostly stopped advertising on Twitter, and had threatened to withhold the site from its App Store. In taking aim at Apple, Musk risked a war with the world’s most valuable company and a top advertiser at a time when other companies were pulling their advertising from Twitter.

Musk subsequently met with Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and said the two had a “good conversation” and “resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store”. Musk said Cook was “clear that Apple never considered doing so”.

Since Musk’s takeover, a string of companies have suspended advertising on Twitter, including General Mills and Pfizer. On Saturday, Musk posted a tweet thanking advertisers for returning to Twitter.

In clarification of an earlier post, Platformer News said in a tweet on Sunday afternoon that Amazon.com had paused various campaigns on Twitter recently, but did continue some level of advertising “throughout the recent turmoil”. Platformer News cited a source familiar with the matter it didn’t identify and also said the retailer is considering increasing its annual ad spending to $100-million. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment.

Twitter’s new approach for verifying accounts had also allowed trolls to impersonate major brands. Musk said that he hopes to revive the company’s verification programme in the next week after it had been paused to deal with imposers.

(With assistance from Mark Gurman and Mark Bergen.)

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