Musk lifts Twitter ban on political ads but may need to do more to lure advertisers back to the social media site
Twitter is to lift its ban on political ads after losing nearly a million users since it was bought by Elon Musk in October last year.
Musk’s controversial policy of reinstating controversial accounts including that of former US President Donald Trump, led to the reported loss of nearly 50 per cent of Twitter’s top advertisers.
Advertising revenue is believed to account for 90 per cent of the social media platform’s income.
Within days of taking over Twitter Musk begun laying off 7,500 workers after warning the San Francisco-based social media company was losing more than $4m a day due to a “massive drop” in advertising revenues.
On Tuesday, Twitter Safety tweeted that they were relaxing their regulations around “cause based” advertising.
Since taking over Twitter at the end of October, Musk has fired 50 per cent of the company’s employees and demanded that the remaining staff commit to long hours and a “hardcore” culture, leading to more employee exits.
Musk had justified this as a cost-cutting measure, claiming that the company had been in a “negative cash flow situation of $3bn per year” during a Twitter Spaces audio chat in December.
Allowing political ads is a reversal of the policy introduced by former CEO Jack Dorsey.
Dorsey had announced the ban in 2019 tweeting that: “We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”
So far, advertising giants are reportedly advising clients against using the social media site for promotions as it is “high-risk,” due to the surge in hate speech after Musk’s take over.
Political adverts might bring a new source of revenue for Twitter.
New-York based research firm, Insider Intelligence’s report on social media remains pessimistic about Twitter’s future.
Jasmine Enberg, principal analyst, said:“There won’t be one catastrophic event that ends Twitter. Instead, users will start to leave the platform next year as they grow frustrated with technical issues and the proliferation of hateful or other unsavory content. Twitter’s skeleton staff, working around the clock, won’t be able to counteract the platform’s infrastructure and content moderation problems.”