Twitter is set to roll back political ban on ads to boost revenue • TechCrunch


Twitter said on Monday it plans to lift the ban on political ads in the “coming weeks”. The company originally enforced the ban in 2019. At the time, it said “political message reach should be earned, not bought.” Twitter charted a different course than other social networks like Facebook and Instagram, which allowed political ads.

The social network’s announcement comes at a time when advertisers have cut spending on the platform. In November, company owner Elon Musk blamed “activist groups” for pressuring advertisers to suspend ads on Twitter. Musk also had a run-in with Apple as the company briefly suspended ads on the platform and accused the iPhone maker of hating “free speech in America”.

Additionally, Twitter said it was relaxing its standards on cause-based ads — ads related to topics such as social equality and environmental change — in the United States. The company didn’t really elaborate on what terms it’s changing, but it did mention on its advertising policy page that cause-based ads should be geo-restricted.

“Advertisers whose cause-based ads only target the United States are exempt from the restrictions listed above,” he said.

Historically, Twitter allowed cause-based ads on the condition that advertisers could not apply specific target filters to those campaigns. But Musk’s leadership team is about to change that. As for putting in place guardrails around these types of ads, Twitter said it would “first ensure that our approach to reviewing and approving content protects people.” .

One of Musk’s priorities after taking over Twitter was to increase the company’s revenue. Although it launched a more expensive Twitter Blue subscription service that costs $8 a month, the company still has to rely heavily on ad revenue. Reports suggest that since the Tesla CEO’s ownership of Twitter began, many high-profile advertisers have left the platform and the company has reduced its internal revenue projections.

As the United States prepares for the 2024 election, political entities will spend whatever money they can to sway voters in their favor. It’s unclear whether Twitter will gain much revenue by allowing political ads. In 2019, Ned Segal, then CFO of Twitter, said political ads accounted for $3 million in the 2018 US midterm elections.

Like previous policy announcements under Musk, this change is thin on the specifics and there are virtually no details on how it will shape related publicity and misinformation on Twitter. Musk had also promised to conduct polls before make major policy changesbut there was no such poll before rescinding its ban on political advertising.

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