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Twitter’s US advertising revenue has dropped by a drastic 59 percent in the wake of Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform – despite the CEO claiming ‘almost all advertisers’ had returned to the tech giant.
An internal presentation shows that Twitter’s ad sales dropped to $88million in the period between April 1 and the first week of May – down 59 percent compared to the previous year, reports the New York Times.
The internal documents also show that the company has regularly fallen short of its US weekly sales projections – sometimes by 30 percent.
The damning development comes after Musk said in April that Twitter ‘could be profitable’ as ‘almost all advertisers have come back or said they are going to come back’.
But the reality is different – and Twitter employees told the newspaper that they don’t believe the social media giant’s will improve any time soon.
Twitter’s US advertising revenue has dropped by a drastic 59 per cent in the wake of Elon Musk’s (pictured on May 15 in Paris) takeover of the social media platform – despite the CEO claiming ‘almost all advertisers’ had returned to the tech giant
They said Twitter’s ad sales staff are concerned that advertisers could be shying away from the site due to a rise in pornography and hate speech on the social network.
In November, it emerged that half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers, which had accounted for about $2billion in spending since the start of 2020, had pulled their partnerships with the site.
High-profile companies including Chevrolet, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Ford, and Jeep have halted advertising on the site.
The mass exodus largely stems over ethical concerns regarding the company’s new direction under Musk, 51, who has aired plans to increase revenue through subscriptions and offer users increased ‘free speech.’
Musk’s plans – which has already seen previously banned accounts, like the one owned by former president Donald Trump, restored – have proved polarizing in terms of morals.
Six ad agency executives told the New York Times that their clients continue to limit their spending on Twitter due to confusion over Musk’s changes to the site, as well as ‘inconsistent support from Twitter and concerns about the persistent presence of misleading and toxic content on the platform.’
Indeed, advertisers have been spooked by the company’s mass lay-offs and Musk’s rush to implement a paid verification feature that resulted in scammers impersonating companies on Twitter.
The social media platform also recently reversed its 2019 ban on political ads and said that it would relax advertising policy for ’cause-based ads’ in the United States and align its ad policy with TV and other media outlets.
Musk had planned to diversify Twitter’s revenue away from ads in the long run. However, the sudden drop in spending will likely hamper the company in the medium term.
Musk has already axed 75 percent of its 7,500-strong workforce, resulting in dozens of laid-off workers now trying to sue the company for firing them without warning.
And last week, Twitter lost a second safety executive in just 24 hours.
The company’s head of brand safety and ad quality, A.J. Brown, has resigned – just a day after the head of trust and safety, Ella Irwin (pictured), also quit
The company’s Head of Brand Safety and ad quality, A.J. Brown, has resigned – just a day after the Head of Trust and Safety, Ella Irwin, also quit, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Both the departures come after a controversy on the platform over restrictions on the Daily Wire’s ‘What is a Woman?’ documentary, which sees one of the right-wing outlet’s columnists, Matt Walsh, question the transgender movement.
Irwin, who resigned on Thursday, was in charge of content-moderation decisions.
It’s unclear if the exits had anything to do with Musk’s overwriting of a decision taken by Twitter execs regarding the Daily Wire’s documentary.
On Thursday, Daily Wire CEO Jeremy Boreing claimed Twitter representatives had told him the platform would ‘no longer provide us any support and would actually limit the reach of the film and label it as ‘hateful conduct’ because of ‘misgendering.’
Musk replied to several complaints regarding the censorship, saying it was a mistake by employees and the issue would be fixed on Friday. Indeed, Twitter users could share the documentary by Friday, like Musk himself did.
Irwin, who joined Twitter in June 2022, took over as head of the trust and safety team in November when previous head Yoel Roth resigned.
Kara Swisher, a tech journalist and frequent critic of Musk, called Irwin an ‘Elon loyalist’ who was ‘kicked to the curb.’
Twitter has suffered a massive loss of adverting revenue following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover last year, as companies don’t want their products advertised alongside controversial content.
Brown was the top executive working assuring advertisers they should trust Twitter to host their ad content.
NBCUniversal’s former ad-sales chief Linda Yaccarino (pictured) was recently named as Twitters incoming CEO, but has not yet started on the job
In December, with Irwin taking over for Roth, Twitter dissolved its Trust and Safety Council, the advisory group of around 100 independent civil, human rights and other organizations that the company formed in 2016 to address hate speech, child exploitation, suicide, self-harm and other problems on the platform.
The council had been scheduled to meet with Twitter representatives. But Twitter informed the group via email that it was disbanding it shortly before the meeting was to take place, according to multiple members.
NBCUniversal’s former ad-sales chief Linda Yaccarino was recently named as Twitters incoming CEO, but has not yet started on the job.
On May 12, Musk announced that Yaccarino ‘will focus primarily on business operations, while I focus on product design & new technology.’
Twitter’s revenue mostly comes from advertising – in 2021, it accounted for 90 percent of revenue.
In January, the company suffered a 40 percent drop in revenue since 2022, as more than 500 advertisers pause spending on the microblogging site.