Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Creators via @sejournal, @kristileilani

Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter, announced that starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators. The new policy applies only to ads that appear in a creator’s reply threads.

The move comes on the heels of YouTube launching ad revenue sharing for creators through the YouTube Partner Program in a bid to become the most rewarding social platform for creators.

Social networks like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat have similar monetization options for creators who publish reels and video content. For example, Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus Program offers eligible creators up to $1,200 for Reel views.

The catch? Unlike other social platforms, creators on Twitter must have an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meet the eligibility requirements for the Blue Verified checkmark.

The following is an example of a Twitter ad in a reply thread (Promoted by @ASUBootcamps). It should generate revenue for the Twitter Blue Verified creator (@rowancheung), who created the thread.

Twitter Will Share Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified CreatorsScreenshot from Twitter, January 2023

To receive the ad revenue share, creators would have to pay $8 per month (or more) to maintain an active Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter Blue pricing varies based on location and is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

Eligibility for the Twitter Blue Verified checkmark includes having an active Twitter Blue subscription and meeting the following criteria.

  • Your account must have a display name, profile photo, and confirmed phone number.
  • Your account has to be older than 90 days and active within the last 30 days.
  • Recent changes to your account’s username, display name, or profile photo can affect eligibility. Modifications to those after verification can also result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark until Twitter reviews your updated information.
  • Your account cannot appear to mislead or deceive.
  • Your account cannot spam or otherwise try to manipulate the platform for engagement or follows.

Did you receive a Blue Verified checkmark before the Twitter Blue subscription? That will not help creators who want a share of the ad revenue. The legacy Blue Verified checkmark does not make a creator account eligible for ad revenue sharing.

When asked about accounts with a legacy and Twitter Blue Verified checkmark, Musk tweeted that the legacy Blue Verified is “deeply corrupted” and will sunset in just a few months.

Regardless of how you gained your checkmark, it’s important to note that Twitter can remove a checkmark without notice.

In addition to ad revenue sharing for Twitter Blue Verified creators, Twitter Dev announced that the Twitter API would no longer be free in an ongoing effort to reduce the number of bots on the platform.

While speculation looms about a loss in Twitter ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reported a “fire-sale” Super Bowl offer from Musk to win back advertisers.

The latest data from DataReportal shows a positive trend for Twitter advertisers. Ad reach has increased from 436.4 million users in January 2022 to 556 million in January 2023.

Twitter is also the third most popular social network based on monthly unique visitors and page views globally, according to SimilarWeb data through December 2022.


Featured Image: Ascannio/Shutterstock

How the Supreme Court ruling on Section 230 could end Reddit as we know it

When the Supreme Court hears a landmark case on Section 230 later in February, all eyes will be on the biggest players in tech—Meta, Google, Twitter, YouTube.

A legal provision tucked into the Communications Decency Act, Section 230 has provided the foundation for Big Tech’s explosive growth, protecting social platforms from lawsuits over harmful user-generated content while giving them leeway to remove posts at their discretion (though they are still required to take down illegal content, such as child pornography, if they become aware of its existence). The case might have a range of outcomes; if Section 230 is repealed or reinterpreted, these companies may be forced to transform their approach to moderating content and to overhaul their platform architectures in the process.

But another big issue is at stake that has received much less attention: depending on the outcome of the case, individual users of sites may suddenly be liable for run-of-the-mill content moderation. Many sites rely on users for community moderation to edit, shape, remove, and promote other users’ content online—think Reddit’s upvote, or changes to a Wikipedia page. What might happen if those users were forced to take on legal risk every time they made a content decision? 

In short, the court could change Section 230 in ways that won’t just impact big platforms; smaller sites like Reddit and Wikipedia that rely on community moderation will be hit too, warns Emma Llansó, director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Free Expression Project. “It would be an enormous loss to online speech communities if suddenly it got really risky for mods themselves to do their work,” she says. 

In an amicus brief filed in January, lawyers for Reddit argued that its signature upvote/downvote feature is at risk in Gonzalez v. Google, the case that will reexamine the application of Section 230. Users “directly determine what content gets promoted or becomes less visible by using Reddit’s innovative ‘upvote’ and ‘downvote’ features,” the brief reads. “All of those activities are protected by Section 230, which Congress crafted to immunize Internet ‘users,’ not just platforms.” 

At the heart of Gonzalez is the question of whether the “recommendation” of content is different from the display of content; this is widely understood to have broad implications for recommendation algorithms that power platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok. But it could also have an impact on users’ rights to like and promote content in forums where they act as community moderators and effectively boost some content over other content. 

Reddit is questioning where user preferences fit, either directly or indirectly, into the interpretation of “recommendation.” “The danger is that you and I, when we use the internet, we do a lot of things that are short of actually creating the content,” says Ben Lee, Reddit’s general counsel. “We’re seeing other people’s content, and then we’re interacting with it. At what point are we ourselves, because of what we did, recommending that content?” 

Reddit currently has 50 million active daily users, according to its amicus brief, and the site sorts its content according to whether users upvote or downvote posts and comments in a discussion thread. Though it does employ recommendation algorithms to help new users find discussions they might be interested in, much of its content recommendation system relies on these community-powered votes. As a result, a change to community moderation would likely drastically change how the site works.  

“Can we [users] be dragged into a lawsuit, even a well-meaning lawsuit, just because we put a two-star review for a restaurant, just because like we clicked downvote or upvote on that one post, just because we decided to help volunteer for our community and start taking out posts or adding in posts?” Lee asks. “Are [these actions] enough for us to suddenly become liable for something?”

An “existential threat” to smaller platforms 

Lee points to a case in Reddit’s recent history. In 2019, in the subreddit r/Screenwriting, users started discussing screenwriting competitions they thought might be scams. The operator of those alleged scams went on to sue the moderator of r/Screenwriting for pinning and commenting on the posts, thus prioritizing that content. The Superior Court of California in LA County excused the moderator from the lawsuit, which Reddit says was due to Section 230 protection. Lee is concerned that a different interpretation of Section 230 could leave moderators, like the one in r/Screenwriting, significantly more vulnerable to similar lawsuits in the future. 

“The reality is every Reddit user plays a role in deciding what content appears on the platform,” says Lee. “In that sense, weakening 230 can unintentionally increase liability for everyday people.” 

Llansó agrees that Section 230 explicitly protects the users of platforms, as well as the companies that host them. 

“Community moderation is often some of the most effective [online moderation] because it has people who are invested,” she says. “It’s often … people who have context and understand what people in their community do and don’t want to see.”

Wikimedia, the foundation that manages Wikipedia, is also worried that a new interpretation of Section 230 might usher in a future in which volunteer editors can be taken to court for how they deal with user-generated content. All the information on Wikipedia is generated, fact-checked, edited, and organized by volunteers, making the site particularly vulnerable to changes in liability afforded by Section 230. 

“Without Section 230, Wikipedia could not exist,” says Jacob Rogers, associate general counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation. He says the community of volunteers that manages content on Wikipedia “designs content moderation policies and processes that reflect the nuances of sharing free knowledge with the world. Alterations to Section 230 would jeopardize this process by centralizing content moderation further, eliminating communal voices, and reducing freedom of speech.”

In its own brief to the Supreme Court, Wikimedia warned that changes to liability will leave smaller technology companies unable to compete with the bigger companies that can afford to fight a host of lawsuits. “The costs of defending suits challenging the content hosted on Wikimedia Foundation’s sites would pose existential threats to the organization,” lawyers for the foundation wrote.

Lee echoes this point, noting that Reddit is “committed to maintaining the integrity of our platform regardless of the legal landscape,” but that Section 230 protects smaller internet companies that don’t have large litigation budgets, and any changes to the law would “make it harder for platforms and users to moderate in good faith.”

To be sure, not all experts think the scenarios laid out by Reddit and Wikimedia are the most likely. “This could be a bit of a mess, but [tech companies] almost always say that this is going to destroy the internet,” says Hany Farid, professor of engineering and information at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Farid supports increasing liability related to content moderation and argues that the harms of targeted, data-driven recommendations online justify some of the risks that come with a ruling against Google in the Gonzalez case. “It is true that Reddit has a different model for content moderation, but what they aren’t telling you is that some communities are moderated by and populated by incels, white supremacists, racists, election deniers, covid deniers, etc.,” he says. 

(In response to Farid’s statement, a Reddit spokesperson writes, “our sitewide policies strictly prohibit hateful content—including hate based on gender or race—as well as content manipulation and disinformation.”)

Brandie Nonnecke, founding director at the CITRIS Policy Lab, a social media and democracy research organization at the University of California, Berkeley, emphasizes a common viewpoint among experts: that regulation to curb the harms of online content is needed but should be established legislatively, rather than through a Supreme Court decision that could result in broad unintended consequences, such as those outlined by Reddit and Wikimedia.  

“We all agree that we don’t want recommender systems to be spreading harmful content,” Nonnecke says, “but trying to address it by changing Section 230 in this very fundamental way is like a surgeon using a chain saw instead of a scalpel.”

Correction: The Wikimedia Foundation was established two years after Wikipedia was launched, not before, as originally written.

This piece has also been updated to include an additional statement from Reddit.

Twitter Introduces New Appeal Process For Suspended Accounts via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

Twitter is making a significant change to its account suspension policy starting on February 1.

Per an announcement from the Twitter Safety team, users will be able to appeal account suspensions for evaluations based on new criteria for reinstatement.

Twitter notes that it’s taking a more nuanced approach to policy violations, opting for less severe actions such as limiting the reach of individual tweets rather than removing accounts.

From now on, Twitter will only suspend accounts for severe or ongoing, repeat violations of its policies.

Examples of severe violations include, but are not limited to, engaging in illegal content or activity, inciting or threatening violence or harm, privacy violations, platform manipulation or spam, and targeted harassment of users.

Twitter is proactively reinstating previously suspended accounts and has clarified that accounts that engaged in illegal activity, threats of harm or violence, large-scale spam, and platform manipulation will not be reinstated.

The company’s new account suspension approach aims to balance promoting healthy online discussions while protecting users from harm.

Twitter hopes these changes will provide a fairer and more transparent way for users to reinstate their accounts, which it didn’t offer before.

Users are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new criteria and to appeal their suspensions if they feel that their accounts were suspended unjustly.

On rare occasions, Twitter may permit controversial content or behavior that might otherwise violate its policies to remain on the site because it thinks the public is interested in seeing both sides of an issue.

A cross-functional team evaluates each circumstance individually before making a decision.

The potential influence on the general public, the source of the content, and the availability of alternative coverage of an event are some elements that Twitter considers when making content decisions.

Twitter’s enforcement philosophy is documented on this help page.


Featured Image: KateV28/Shutterstock

Where Are The Advertisers Leaving Twitter Going For The Super Bowl? via @sejournal, @gregjarboe

Since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter last October 27, 2022, things at the social media company have gone from bad to worse.

You probably saw this coming from a mile away – especially if you had read about a study by Media Matters that was published on November 22, 2022, entitled, “In less than a month, Elon Musk has driven away half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers.”

If you missed that, then you’ve probably read Matt G. Southern’s article in Search Engine Journal, which was entitled, “Twitter’s Revenue Down 40% As 500 Top Advertisers Pull Out.”

This mass exodus creates a challenge for digital advertising executives and their agencies. Where should they go long term?

And what should they do in the short term – with Super Bowl LVII coming up on Sunday, February 12, 2023?

Ideally, these advertisers would follow their audience. If they knew where Twitter users were going, their ad budgets could follow them.

But it isn’t clear where Twitter users are going – or if they’ve even left yet.

Fake Followers On Twitter And Brand Safety

According to the latest data from Similarweb, a digital intelligence platform, there were 6.9 billion monthly visits to Twitter worldwide during December 2022 – up slightly from 6.8 billion in November, and down slightly from 7.0 billion in October.

So, if a high-profile user like Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has taken a step back from the frequent posts on her Twitter account, @wutrain, which has more than 152,000 followers, then it appears that other users have stepped up their monthly visits.

This includes several accounts that had been banned previously for spreading disinformation, which Musk unbanned.

(Disinformation is defined as “deliberately misleading or biased information,” while misinformation may be spread without the sender having harmful intentions.)

It’s also worth noting that SparkToro, which provides audience research software, also has a free tool called Fake Follower Audit, which analyzes Twitter accounts.

This tool defines “fake followers” as ones that are unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets either because they’re spam, bots, and propaganda, or because they’re no longer active on Twitter.

On Jan. 24, 2023, I used this tool and found that 70.2% of the 126.5 million followers of the @elonmusk account were fake.

According to the tool, accounts with a similar-sized following to @elonmusk have a median of 41% fake followers. So, Elon Musk’s account has more fake followers than most.

Sparktoro screenshotScreenshot from SparkToro, January 2023

By comparison, 20.6% of the followers of the @wutreain account were fake. So, Michelle Wu’s account has fewer fake followers than accounts with a similar-sized following.

Sparktoro results for fake followersScreenshot from SparkToro, January 2023

In fact, most Twitter accounts have significant numbers of fake followers.

This underlines the brand safety concerns that many advertisers and media buyers have, but it doesn’t give them any guidance on where they should move their ad dollars.

Who Are Twitter’s Top Competitors And What Are Their Monthly Visits?

So, I asked Similarweb if they had more data that might help. And they sent me the monthly visits from desktop and mobile devices worldwide for Twitter and its top competitors:

  • YouTube.com: 34.6 billion in December 2022, down 2.8% from 35.6 billion in December 2021.
  • Facebook.com: 18.1 billion in December 2022, down 14.2% from 21.1 billion in December 2021.
  • Twitter.com: 6.9 billion in December 2022, up 1.5% from 6.8 billion in December 2021.
  • Instagram.com: 6.3 billion in December 2022, down 3.1% from 6.5 billion in December 2021.
  • TikTok.com: 1.9 billion in December 2022, up 26.7% from 1.5 billion in December 2021.
  • Reddit.com: 1.8 billion in December 2022, down 5.3% from 1.9 billion in December 2021.
  • LinkedIn.com: 1.5 billion in December 2022, up 7.1% from 1.4 billion in December 2021.
  • Pinterest.com: 1.0 billion in December 2022, up 11.1% from 0.9 billion in December 2021.

The most significant trends worth noting are monthly visits to TikTok are up 26.7% year over year from a smaller base, while monthly visits to Facebook are down 14.2% from a bigger base.

So, the short-term events at Twitter over the past 90 days may have taken the spotlight off the long-term trends at TikTok and Facebook over the past year for some industry observers.

But based on Southern’s article in Search Engine Journal, “Facebook Shifts Focus To Short-Form Video After Stock Plunge,” which was published on February 6, 2022, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is focused on these trends.

In a call with investors, Zuckerberg said back then:

“People have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very quickly. And this is why our focus on Reels is so important over the long term.”

Meanwhile, there were 91% more monthly visits to YouTube in December 2022 than there were to Facebook. And that only counts the visits that Similarweb tracks from mobile and desktop devices.

Similarweb doesn’t track visits from connected TVs (CTVs).

Measuring Data From Connected TVs (CTVs) And Co-Viewing

Why would I wish to draw your attention to CTVs?

First, global viewers watched a daily average of over 700 million hours of YouTube content on TV devices, according to YouTube internal data from January 2022.

And Insider Intelligence reported in 2022 that 36.4% of the U.S. share of average time spent per day with YouTube came from connected devices, including Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, and Xfinity Flex, while 49.3% came from mobile devices, and 14.3% came from desktops or laptops.

Second, when people watch YouTube on a connected TV, they often watch it together with their friends, family, and colleagues – just like they did at Super Bowl parties before the pandemic.

There’s even a term for this behavior: Co-viewing.

And advertisers can now measure their total YouTube CTV audience using real-time and census-level surveys in over 100 countries and 70 languages.

This means Heineken and Marvel Studios can measure the co-viewing of their Super Bowl ad in more than 100 markets around the globe where Heineken 0.0 non-alcoholic beer is sold, and/or 26 countries where “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” is scheduled to be released three to five days after the Big Game.

It also enables Apple Music to measure the co-viewing of their Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show during Big Game parties worldwide (except Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, and Turkmenistan, where access to YouTube is currently blocked).

And, if FanDuel has already migrated to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), then the innovative sports-tech entertainment company can not only measure the co-viewing of their Big Game teasers on YouTube AdBlitz in 16 states where sports betting is legal, but also measure engaged-view conversions (EVCs) from YouTube within 3 days of viewing Rob Gronkowski’s attempt to kick a live field goal.

Advertisers couldn’t do that in 2022. But they could in a couple of weeks.

If advertisers want to follow their audience, then they should be moving some of their ad budgets out of Facebook, testing new tactics, and experimenting with new initiatives on YouTube in 2023.

Where should the advertisers leaving Twitter shift their budgets long term? And how will that change their Super Bowl strategies in the short term?

According to Similarweb, monthly visits to ads.twitter.com, the platform’s ad-buying portal dropped 15% worldwide from 2.5 million in December 2021 to 2.1 million in December 2022.

So, advertisers were heading for the exit weeks before they learned that 500 top advertisers had left the platform.

Where Did Their Ad Budgets Go?

Well, it’s hard to track YouTube advertising, which is buried in Google’s sprawling ad business.

And we can’t use business.facebook.com as a proxy for interest in advertising on that platform because it’s used by businesses for other purposes, such as managing organic content on their Facebook pages.

But monthly visits to ads.snapchat.com, that platform’s ad-buying portal, jumped 88.3% from 1.6 million in December 2021 to 3.0 million in December 2022.

Monthly visits to ads.tiktok.com are up 36.6% from 5.1 million in December 2021 to 7.0 million in December 2022.

Monthly visits to ads.pinterest.com are up 23.3% from 1.1 million in December 2021 to 1.4 million in December 2022.

And monthly visits to business.linkedin.com are up 14.6% from 5.7 million in December 2021 to 6.5 million in December 2022.

It appears that lots of advertisers are hedging their bets by spreading their money around.

Now, most of them should probably continue to move their ad budgets into Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest, and LinkedIn – unless the “Chief Twit” can find a way to keep his microblogging service from becoming “a free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences!

How will advertisers leaving Twitter change their Super Bowl plan this year?

To double-check my analysis, I interviewed Joaquim Salguerio, who is the Paid Media Director at LINK Agency. He’s managed media budgets of over eight figures at multiple advertising agencies.

Below are my questions and his answers.

Greg Jarboe: “Which brands feel that Twitter has broken their trust since Musk bought the platform?”

Joaquim Salguerio: “I would say that several brands will have different reasonings for this break of trust.

First, if you’re an automaker, there’s suddenly a very tight relationship between Twitter and one of your competitors.

Second, advertisers that are quite averse to taking risks with their communications because of brand safety concerns might feel that they still need to be addressed.

Most of all, in a year where we’re seeing mass layoffs from several corporations, the Twitter troubles have given marketing teams a reason to re-evaluate its effectiveness during a time of budget cuts. That would be a more important factor than trust for most brands.

Obviously, there are some famous cases, such as the Lou Paskalis case, but it’s difficult to pinpoint a brand list that would have trust as their only concern.”

GJ: “Do you think it will be hard for Twitter to regain their trust before this year’s Super Bowl?”

JS: “It’s highly unlikely that any brand that has lost trust in Twitter will change its mind in the near future, and definitely not in time for the Super Bowl. Most marketing plans for the event will be finalized by now and recent communications by Twitter leadership haven’t signaled any change in direction.

If anything, from industry comments within my own network, I can say that comments from Musk recently (“Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks.”) were quite badly received. For any marketers that believe Twitter advertising isn’t sufficiently effective, this pushes them further away.

Brand communications should still occur on Twitter during Super Bowl though – it will have a peak in usage. And advertising verticals that should dominate the advertising space on Twitter are not the ones crossing the platform from their plans.”

GJ: “How do you think advertisers will change their Super Bowl plans around Twitter this year?”

JS: “The main change for advertising plans will likely be for brand comms amplification. As an example, the betting industry will likely be heavily present on Twitter during the game and I would expect little to no change in plans.”

In the FCMG category, though, time sensitivity won’t be as important, which means that social media teams will likely be making an attempt at virality without relying as much on paid dollars.

If budgets are to diverge, they will likely be moved within the social space and toward platforms that will have user discussion/engagement from the Super Bowl (TikTok, Reddit, etc.)”

GJ: “What trends will we see in advertising budget allocation for this year’s Super Bowl?”

Joaquim Salguerio: “We should see budget planning much in line with previous years in all honesty. TV is still the most important media channel on Super Bowl day.

Digital spend will likely go towards social platforms, we predict a growth in TikTok and Reddit advertising around the big day for most brands.

Twitter should still have a strong advertising budget allocated to the platform by the verticals aiming to get actions from users during the game (food delivery/betting/etc.).”

GJ: “Which platforms will benefit from this shift?”

JS: “Likely, we will see TikTok as the biggest winner from a shift in advertising dollars, as the growth numbers are making it harder to ignore the platform as a placement that needs to be in the plan.

Reddit can also capture some of this budget as it has the right characteristics marketers are looking for around the Super Bowl – it’s relevant to what’s happening at the moment and similar demographics.”

GJ: “Do you think advertisers that step away from Twitter for this year’s Big Game will stay away long term?”

JS: “That is impossible to know, as it’s completely dependent on how the platform evolves and the advertising solutions it will provide. Twitter’s proposition was always centered around brand marketing (their performance offering was always known to be sub-par).

Unless brand safety concerns are addressed by brands that decided to step away, it’s hard to foresee a change.

I would say that overall, Super Bowl ad spend on Twitter should not be as affected as it’s been portrayed – it makes sense to reach audiences where audiences are.

Especially if you know the mindset. The bigger issue is what happens when there isn’t a Super Bowl or a World Cup.”

More resources:


Featured Image: Brocreative/Shutterstock

Twitter Rolls Out Search Keywords Ads To All Advertisers via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

Twitter is rolling out a new ad unit called Search Keywords Ads that allows users to promote sponsored tweets in search results.

Advertisers will now be able to pay for their tweets to appear at the top of search results for specific keywords.

The feature is similar to the promoted tweets that appear in users’ timelines but with the added benefit of appearing in search results.

This will allow advertisers to reach a wider audience, as users searching for specific keywords will now be exposed to sponsored tweets.

Advertisers can find Search Keywords Ads as a new campaign objective within the Twitter Ads interface.

As the company states in the tweet above, the new Search Keywords Ads objective is designed to drive conversions to advertiser websites.

Twitter’s Search Keywords Ads are unique in that they only target users actively searching for specific keywords, which provides a more accurate signal of user intent.

For maximum relevance, you’ll need to utilize the Twitter Pixel or Conversion API on your website.

Twitter intends to expand Search Keywords Ads to other advertising objectives in the future.

Like other promoted tweets, search ads will be clearly labeled as “promoted,” which will help differentiate advertisements from organic tweets.

Search Keywords Ads can potentially be a significant revenue generator for Twitter, which the company needs right now.

Reuters reports that in December, ad spend on Twitter dropped by 71%.

This decline is attributed to top advertisers reducing their spending on the social media platform following the takeover by Elon Musk.

Will the introduction of search ads help lure advertisers back?

We may learn more about Twitter’s plans to boost revenue later this week when the company holds its earnings call.

Twitter’s Revenue Down 40% As 500 Top Advertisers Pull Out via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

Twitter is facing a crisis in its core advertising business, as a senior manager at the company recently informed employees that daily revenue is down 40% compared to last year.

This news, first reported by The Information, comes on the heels of reports that more than 500 of Twitter’s top advertisers have ceased spending on the platform since CEO Elon Musk took over.

The continued decline of Twitter’s advertising business makes it difficult for the company to break even in 2023, as Musk previously stated it would.

Why Are Advertisers Pulling Out?

Some major advertisers have expressed disapproval of Musk’s approach to content moderation, including the reinstatement of previously banned accounts and the dismissal of the company’s key executives responsible for curtailing hate speech.

Musk also terminated most of Twitter’s sales team, including many who were in charge of the company’s major advertisers and approximately 50 engineers and data scientists working on enhancing Twitter’s advertising product.

Which Advertisers Are Pulling Out?

Notably, Omnicom and Interpublic Group ad-holding companies have recommended that their clients temporarily stop all advertising on Twitter as they wait to see what Musk will do next.

Clients of GroupM, the world’s most prominent ad-buying firm, have also reduced their spending since Musk became CEO, saying the company has become high-risk.

What Does This Mean For Twitter Users?

The issues with Twitter’s advertising business could lead Musk to make further cost-cutting measures following his previous reduction of 75% of Twitter’s 7,500 employees and the closure of one of its data centers.

This can impact Twitter’s quality of service, potentially leading to more frequent outages or a lack of new features for non-paying users.

With the limited resources Twitter has available to develop new tools, it wouldn’t be surprising to see new offerings locked behind the Twitter Blue paywall.

Also within the realm of possibility is Twitter charging for previously free features, similar to how Musk monetized verification checkmarks.

This is speculation, of course, as Twitter hasn’t made any public statements regarding its declining ad business.

It remains to be seen what Musk will do to diversify revenue.

With the company’s future at stake, the actions of Musk and Twitter will be closely watched by the industry and its investors.


Featured Image: Gearstd/Shutterstock

Twitter Cuts Off Access To Third-Party Apps via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

In a move sparking controversy across tech and developer communities, Twitter appears to have cut off access to third-party apps like Twitterrific and Tweetbot.

By cutting off access to its API, Twitter limits developers’ ability to offer alternative ways to access the platform.

This change could impact those who depend on third-party apps for their daily Twitter content.

While it’s unclear why Twitter is making such drastic changes to its API access policy, a report from The Information suggests it’s no accident.

Erin Woo, a reporter at The Information, writes:

“In the day and a half since users started reporting problems with the apps, neither Twitter’s official account nor the Twitter support account have explained what caused the outage, including whether it was deliberate or accidental. Musk also hasn’t commented on his Twitter account.

But a senior software engineer wrote Thursday night that “Third-party app suspensions are intentional,” in an internal Twitter command center Slack channel, used by employees to handle outages and interruptions to Twitter’s services. The engineer declined to comment when contacted by The Information on Saturday afternoon.”

While no official communication has been provided to developers or users, many speculate the decision to restrict API access is motivated by a desire to increase revenue.

Third-party apps drive less ad revenue for Twitter. Forcing people to use the official Twitter app can increase ad impressions and make it a more attractive platform for advertisers.

Additionally, funneling more users to the official app can potentially drive more subscriptions to Twitter Blue, which isn’t available to purchase on third-party apps.

Regardless of the reasoning behind the decision, Twitter is damaging relationships with developers and users alike.

Giving third-party developers access to the Twitter API is beneficial for users because they’re often able to create more efficient and user-friendly tools than those available through Twitter itself.

Moreover, allowing access to the API can help stimulate innovation and creativity within the industry, leading to more advanced technologies and better services.

The fact that this change came without warning has soured relationships with developers, with some vowing not to continue working on their app if API access is restored.

Craig Hockenberry, the developer of Twitterrific, writes in his blog:

“What bothers me about Twitterrific’s final day is that it was not dignified. There was no advance notice for its creators, customers just got a weird error, and no one is explaining what’s going on. We had no chance to thank customers who have been with us for over a decade…

Personally, I’m done. And with a vengeance.”

Matteo Villa, developer of Fenix for iOS, says he’s considering pulling his app from the App Store

Paul Haddad, co-creator of Tweetbot, writes in a post on Mastodon that he’s on to “smaller but greener pastures.”

If you’re waiting for your favorite third-party Twitter app to come back online, there’s no telling if that will ever happen.

As Twitter laid off its public relations and communications team, a company representative couldn’t be reached for comment.


Featured Image: Postmodern Studio/Shutterstock

What To Tweet: 24 Ideas For Inspiration via @sejournal, @TaylorDanRW

When building your brand’s reputation, you must consider how you want to present your business online.

What you say and how you say it can impact how your brand is perceived – so it’s important to post what reflects your unique values.

Twitter is an effective marketing tool for building exposure for your business and tailoring your brand reputation, and it can even increase your Google search visibility when used correctly.

You can promote your products, share content, and hop on relevant trends to remain relatable among your followers.

There are various ways to advertise on Twitter, but your Tweets are what build your branding.

However, with 280 characters per Tweet, it can be tricky to say everything you want in a single post.

Here are some tips for crafting the perfect Tweets to effectively build your unique branding and promote your business on Twitter.

Nail Your First Tweet

Whether you’re a new business, or an existing enterprise joining Twitter for the first time, your first Tweet will set the tone for your online personality.

Pepsi's first TweetImage from Twitter, March 2009

First and foremost, keep it short. Your Twitter handle will tell users who you are, and your bio should characterize your brand effectively enough that you don’t have to repeat it in your post.

Focus on introducing yourself in a simple yet engaging way.

Established enterprises can get away with a simple greeting and an invitation for followers to communicate, like the first Tweet from Pepsi in 2009.

It’s already a widely recognized brand, so it doesn’t need a formal introduction.

Small and new businesses should introduce themselves in a succinct way.

Consider sharing an image or short video. It could be your logo, your office headquarters, or your products. Visuals are eye-catching and, if done well, can depict what you want to say without having to say it.

Examples Of First Tweets

  1. @BBCBreaking got straight to the point; it’s their first Tweet in 2007 by releasing a breaking headline.
  2. @washingtonpost kicked off its feed with a gentle greeting in 2008.
  3. @redlobster kept things familiar with its first Tweet in 2011 by asking its new followers what first came to mind when they thought of the brand.
  4. @Oreo has a reputation for maintaining communication with its followers, which is exactly what the company did when it asked who loved its cookies back in 2010.
  5. @Arbys also opted for familiarity when it pretended it was speaking into a microphone with its initial Tweet in 2010, inviting followers to start a conversation.
  6. @kfc needed no introduction, so it got stuck on Twitter with a comedic 2008 post.
  7. @pizzahut joined Twitter in 2009 and used its first Tweet as an opportunity to promote one of its most popular pizzas.

What To Tweet In The Morning

There are certain times during the day when your Tweets are likely to be seen by more people.

Early mornings, usually between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., are some of the best times to post, as this is when your followers are waking up and scrolling.

Waterstones Piccadilly tweetImage from Twitter, March 2009

What you tweet in the morning depends on your brand and unique offering.

You could create a poll asking followers how they’re spending their day, choosing options your followers can relate to in some way.

If you’re releasing a new product or any promotional content that day, the mornings are a prime time to tweet about it.

Examples Of Morning Tweets

  1. @WaterstonesPicc started its day with this Tweet in 2021 by reminding its followers to read the books they love.
  2. There was no chance @tacobell would miss the opportunity to remind its followers it was National Taco Day with a tasty wake-up call in 2018.
  3. @MicrosoftUK started a working day back in 2020 by promoting its nine-person video call feature.
  4. @newlook was straight on to Twitter at 7 am this day in December 2022 by sharing a link to its Christmas gift guide for women.
  5. Sticking true to its true name, Rasmussen Reports, @Rasmussen_Poll started the day with this Tweet by releasing an updated report on a recent lawsuit.

Relatable Content To Tweet

When tweeting to be relatable, stick to topics you have the authority to discuss.

Let’s say you own a skincare brand – it would be appropriate to share popular skincare ingredients, tips on clearing acne, or techniques for facial massages.

However, it wouldn’t be on-brand to post about travel or vehicle maintenance.

Relevant Tweets would be reminding your followers to apply their SPF in the morning or to enjoy a moisturizing face mask over the weekend, using trending hashtags where possible.

Of course, relatability is also about the language you use.

Twitter is a good place to soften your typical professional jargon and communicate with followers as you would a person in your life.

You might not use hashtags, emojis, or colloquial phrases on your main site, but they can do wonders for relatability when used in Tweets.

Examples Of Relatable Tweets

  1. @vieve is a makeup brand that knows its trends. It played on the common joke of something being old fashioned with this Tweet, winking at its Ninetease makeup collection with the language followers can relate to.
  2. @Airbnb knew many of its followers were excited about the upcoming Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) movie release and played it to the brand’s advantage when it tweeted a link to a replica property of the Sanderson cottage.
  3. @animalcrossing (under the management of the character Isabelle) maintained the gaming timeline of its players in the northern hemisphere by sharing tricks for playing the game this time of year.
  4. @NandosUK recently used the Christmas period to its advantage by using a common phrase to encourage followers to make an order.
  5. @Deliveroo knows how much the U.K. loves a Christmas dinner, so it shared a picture asking its followers what was missing from the plate to get everyone talking.

Funny Tweets To Boost Followers & Engagement

Your followers want to connect to your brand on a human level, and one of the best ways to do so is by showing your funny side.

Not only do comedic Tweets further your relatability, but they can also be a fantastic marketing technique.

Look at what the average Twitter user is posting and see what Tweets get the most engagement. Is it short one-liners, or is it memes?

What your followers find funny enhances your relatability, so keep on top of trends to see where you can use them to your advantage.

The red flag trend took off in 2021, and many brands like Oreo hopped on the trend to promote their products.

Trends such as this allow businesses to promote their brand and offerings in a way to which followers can relate.

Examples Of Funny Tweets

  1. @netflix is fully aware of the “Netflix and chill” suggestion, so used it alongside a chuckle-worthy GIF from a movie that can be streamed on its platform.
  2. @PopTartsUS shared an image of its SPLITZ product garnishing a mocktail, taking the opportunity to make fun of its followers lightly.
  3. @MontereyAQ introduced its followers to one of its long-term residents with some familiar comedic descriptions.
  4. @peta often handles hard-hitting topics but occasionally likes to lighten things up, like when it gave friendly alternatives to common phrases that reference animals.
  5. @buglesofficial made a joke about how it would rather give up its apple a day in favor of a packet of its crisps. The Tweet, which leveraged the popular “Hide The Pain Harold” meme, went down well with followers.

Viral Tweets

You can’t guarantee what will or won’t go viral, as it’s often a shot in the dark that typically depends on timing.

It might happen for a unique new product, a life hack, or making fun of your own situation –  it’s almost impossible to predict.

You might remember the big caterpillar cake battle of 2021. Marks & Spencer took legal action against Aldi in April of that year, demanding Aldi remove a specific item from its shelves.

The item in question was Cuthbert the Caterpillar Cake, which resembles the M&S Colin variety.

What To Tweet: 24 Ideas For Inspiration

Some brands might shy away from publicly discussing legal matters — not Aldi.

The German discount supermarket saw the funny side of the case and played it to its advantage on Twitter.

Aldi’s page became a string of mocking memes, referring to its rivals as “Marks & Snitches” while coining the #FreeCuthbert hashtag. It even went as far as putting Cuthbert behind bars, and insinuating M&S was holding the cake hostage.

Twitter users revealed how well the Aldi social team used humor and relatable memes to handle the situation in a comical and relatable way. The interaction went viral, with thousands of users resharing variations of the Cuthbert-related memes.

Fast forward to June 2022, and Cuthbert returned to Aldi’s shelves after a 15-month legal battle with the hashtag #cuthback hitting high on the trending list.

After making waves on Twitter the previous year, there was an increased interest in trialing the cake that had so many people talking.

Shoppers rushed to Aldi to purchase the caterpillar, increasing sales above those before the legal debate.

The #FreeCuthbert campaign, which won the 2021 Marketing Week Masters award for Social Media, shows how turning a tricky situation into something entertaining can be the golden ticket to going viral.

Examples Of Viral Tweets

  1. @weetabix shocked its followers with a bizarre partnership with Heinz beans, which had many people talking.
  2. @Wendys is known for poking fun at other brands and went viral with this simple Tweet that poked fun at Facebook for changing its name to Meta.

The Ice Bucket Challenge became a global phenomenon when Chris Kennedy (@ckgolfsrq) started the challenge for ALS Foundation by sharing the first video of pouring ice water over yourself.

In essence, the trick to successful tweeting is connecting with your followers on a human level while depicting your brand the way you want.

You might not always go viral, but you’ll build an engaging online presence that will bring your followers back for more.

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Featured Image: VectorMine/Shutterstock

Twitter Adds Public View Counts To Tweets via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

Elon Musk announced today that Twitter will now display view counts on tweets, giving users more insight into the reach of other users’ content.

Twitter’s tweet view count, otherwise known as impressions, was previously only available to the account that published the tweet.

The exception, as Musk notes, are videos, which have traditionally displayed a view count.

A tweet’s view count will be displayed under the main content and will update in real time as the tweet is viewed.

The decision to make tweet impressions public appears to be motivated by the idea that it will make Twitter look more active.

Tweet view counts will give outside observers a better understanding of the potential reach and impact content can have on Twitter. In Musk’s view, this could encourage more people to join and participate on Twitter.

For brands and businesses, view counts will be a helpful way to measure the reach and engagement of sponsored content on the platform.

Knowing how many impressions other peoples’ tweets get can also help businesses identify genuine influencers in their niche, as engagement numbers don’t tell the whole story.

As others have already pointed out, public view counts can potentially expose accounts that artificially inflate their engagement and follower numbers.

In time we’ll come to know who genuinely has an audience on Twitter and who has a large percentage of inactive followers.


Featured Image: Phil Pasquini/Shutterstock

Twitter Enhances Search Results For Cashtags via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

Twitter is upgrading the user experience for cashtags, showing pricing graphs when users click on the symbol of a major stock, ETF, or cryptocurrency.

Adding a dollar sign in front of a stock or currency symbol, like $AAPL, creates a clickable cashtag.

Previously, clicking on a cashtag would take you to a standard set of search results featuring popular tweets.

If you wanted to learn the current value of the stock or currency, you had to visit another website to get the information.

Now, you can get the information you’re looking for immediately with updated search results for cashtags.

In addition to clicking on cashtags, you can activate the new search experience by searching for the symbols with or without the dollar sign.

Twitter says it’s rolling out this feature with the major symbols first, and will expand its coverage of symbols in the coming weeks.


Featured Image: David Tran Photo/Shutterstock.