Update: After 6 months of back-and-forth, Elon Musk has followed through and purchased Twitter for $44 billion. So what does this mean for advertisers?
With shifting algorithms, changes in Twitter’s employee composition, and possible user hesitation as Musk’s plans for the platform are implemented, the advertising space will likely be rocky on Twitter for the foreseeable future. Especially given the new video elements and monetization options being proposed by Musk, Twitter could start to feel like yet another TikTok copycat. With the outcomes of these shifts still unknown, we’re recommending that advertisers steer clear of the platform until the dust settles.
What also remains to be seen: what platform, if any, might take in those who decide Twitter is no longer for them. Some users state they’ll be moving to Tribel Social, a left-leaning platform marketing itself as a counter to Truth Social. Another platform floated by frustrated users is CounterSocial, a platform started in 2017 by a “hacktivist” known as “The Jester,” which claims to have “No Trolls. No Abuse. No Ads. No Fake News. No Foreign Influence Ops.” However, neither of these platforms are ad-supported, and likely wouldn’t reach all the same audiences as Twitter was even if they did have ads.
While this story may seem to be resolving for some, for brands this is really just the beginning. The coming weeks and months will be crucial to understanding whether or not Twitter will ultimately be a brand-safe platform for advertising dollars.
Elon Musk is positioned to buy Twitter, and speculation about the future of the platform abounds. While there’s a lot still in flux (including whether or not the deal goes through), here are some potential pros and cons for advertisers:
- One of Musk’s stated goals is to “defeat the spam bots.” While it’s unclear exactly how that would be achieved, no one likes wasting ad impressions on bots! His recent concerns about the percentage of bot users on the platform may also lead to increased transparency on this issue.
- Some brands may benefit from the platform welcoming more of Elon Musk’s enthusiastic backers. Crypto and tech brands may see an increase in their audience.
- With new ownership comes new pressure to improve the platform. Musk has made a few statements about quality of life improvements (like the often-advocated for edit button) which could benefit the user base overall.
- Musk’s commitment to expanding what “free speech” means on the platform could lead to an increase in non-brand-safe content. Advertisers may need to take extra care when crafting their campaigns to avoid offensive, misleading, or hateful content.
- On May 4, Musk released a tweet saying that there might be “a slight cost for commercial/government users.” He has also reportedly called for Twitter Blue, Twitter’s monthly subscription service offering premium features, to be ad-free.
- Musk’s ultimate vision for the platform, as well as his plan to take over ownership, seems to be changing by the day. Given recent comments, it’s now equally as likely that he backs out of the $44M deal as it is that he fulfills all the promises that he’s made regarding the platform. This level of relative uncertainty may make for difficult terrain for advertisers attempting to plan out their upcoming campaigns.