Elon Musk’s Antics Leads Companies to Halt their Twitter Ad Campaigns
Twitter has undergone many changes since Elon Musk completed his $44 billion deal to purchase the social media platform. After the deal was finalized, he wrote an open letter to Twitter advertisers, where he explained his motive behind the acquisition. Musk explained that his goal for Twitter is to be a place that hosts healthy discourse on various beliefs and ideas. Musk believes that “In the relentless pursuit of clicks, much of traditional media has fueled and catered to those polarized extremes.” Closing the letter, Musk assures advertisers that Twitter is the most respected advertising platform that will strengthen and grow its brand.
However, Musk’s recent changes to the platform have given many users and advertisers the impression that Twitter is now more of a questionable platform than a well-respected one. One of the main contributing factors to this shift in perception is Twitter’s newly paid verification service. The signature blue check mark that was previously restricted to verified accounts was up for purchase for $8. Since the rollout of this new feature, Twitter has verified “Jesus Christ'', and even Twitter’s CEO was trolled when someone created and verified an account for Tesla. These imposter accounts were comedic but could also be dangerous. Users could be tricked into believing the information is accurate because they believe it is coming from a verified account, but in reality, it is a fake account spreading misinformation. Musk’s late realization of the flaws of this feature pushed him to call for the stop of this feature on November 11th.
This verified feature to Twitter’s Blue subscription was one of Musk’s tactics to drive up the platform’s revenue, which is crucial as Twitter now owes $1 billion a year in interest payments on the debt Musk accrued when he purchased it. Aside from subscriptions, most of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising. Specifically, 90% of its revenue is from advertising. Advertisers are troubled by Musk’s actions. Many are not happy with some of his controversial tweets. Omnicom, a major advertising and marketing firm, has recommended to their clients that they pause their Twitter ad spending. Recently, Audi and General Mills have paused their Twitter ad campaigns. Advertisers need a platform that is predictable, reliable, and trustworthy to get their message out there, but with Musk’s recent changes, Twitter might not be a platform that embodies these requirements that advertisers look for. If Musk cannot remove this skepticism from the minds of advertisers and continue to secure advertisers, he warned Twitter could face bankruptcy.