Twitter Will Pay Some Users For Ads. Here’s How It Will Work
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Twitter will begin paying some creators for advertisements served in their replies, Elon Musk announced Friday, likely an attempt to revive Twitter’s advertising revenue, which has struggled since Musk took over the platform last October, and inch the platform closer to its goal of a super app.

Key Facts

Only verified users will be eligible for payment and only ads that are served to other verified users will count, Musk said in a tweet, adding the program will begin “in a few weeks” and the first block of payments will total $5 million.

The new advertising initiative was announced days after Linda Yaccarino, Twitter’s new CEO with an extensive advertising background, took over from Musk, and it’s seemingly her first step toward improving the platform’s dwindling advertising revenue.

It’s unclear so far what sort of posts or which users will be eligible for the advertising payments. Yaccarino came to Twitter from NBCUniversal where she was the head of advertising, and it was speculated her hire was in part to soothe nervous advertisers who left the platform, while Musk previously said she would also help “transform this platform into X.”

The increased revenue that could come in from the new model would likely help Twitter shift to its new identity as X— “an everything app” with a number of functions Musk hopes will make it “the biggest financial institution in the world.”


Musk has been obsessed with the idea of expanding Twitter well beyond a social platform even before his $44 billion purchase of Twitter last fall, saying the Twitter acquisition was “an accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” He changed the corporation name earlier this year, informing partners that Twitter, Inc. was officially X Corp., though the social platform would keep the name Twitter in a move that isn’t dissimilar to Google’s transition to Alphabet or Facebook’s to Meta. Musk has said he’s had the goal in part because there isn’t a “super app” in America the way there is in China with WeChat, which Musk has mentioned as a model, a social media platform but also a way to complete mobile payments, order food and more.

Key Background

After Musk bought Twitter, more than half of Twitter’s top advertisers stopped spending on the platform, CNN reported, in part due to a reduced staff that weakened the company’s content moderation, and a slew of controversial policies. Musk has said Twitter would work with advertisers over their other concerns, but that maintaining “freedom of speech is paramount.” In April, Musk said the company was “breaking even” as advertisers were returning, but a later report from the New York Times revealed ad revenue was down 59% from the previous year.

What We Don’t Know

Though Musk said the initial tranche of money for the new advertising endeavor will be $5 million, there’s been no insight into how the payments will work or what creators can earn from advertisers in their replies.

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Musk to be worth $226.4 billion, making him the richest person in the world as of Saturday morning. Musk reclaimed his throne as the richest man on earth for the first time in six months on Thursday, taking the title from LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault as shares of Musk’s electric vehicle giant surged to their highest level this year.

Further Reading

Twitter to pay verified creators for ads in replies, Musk says (Reuters)

Twitter’s U.S. Ad Sales Down 59% Despite Musk’s ‘Breaking Even’ Claims, Report Says (Forbes)

Twitter Inc. ‘No Longer Exists’ As Elon Musk Inches Closer To X ‘Everything App’ Ambitions (Forbes)

Twitter to pay verified creators for ads in replies, Musk says (CNBC)

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