Twitter’s global monthly user base will shrink 3.9% next year and 5.1% in 2024, market research firm Insider Intelligence says in a report published a couple of months after Tesla boss Elon Musk bought the social media company. “Users will start to leave the platform next year as they grow frustrated with technical issues and the proliferation of hateful or other unsavoury content,” says Insider Intelligence’s analyst Jasmine Enberg.
Insider Intelligence says it has cut projections for Twitter ad revenue growth to be essentially flat. In March, the research and measurement firm expected double-digit ad revenue growth for Twitter in both 2023 and 2024.
But “it’s not time to write Twitter’s obituary yet,” Enberg says. “While our forecast reflects the current volatile conditions at the company, there’s a possibility users will flock back—if the app can figure out its tech and content moderation.”
Advertising has represented close to 90% of Twitter’s revenue.
Big companies have paused their advertising on Twitter worried that the new management would allow more controversial tweets, hate speech etc after Musk allowed earlier blocked users like ex-president Donald Trump and rapper Ye to use their accounts again. Markets have wanted to see what Musk means by saying he is a free speech fundamentalist.
He returned Trump’s account after a vote among Twitter users with critics worrying about voting as a moderation system.
The World Federation of Advertisers says the organisation’s Executive Committee has met with Twitter’s new leadership team to discuss Twitter’s commitments to brand safety and the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM).
“WFA held this meeting to discuss advertiser concerns on the platform under Chatham House Rules. The conversation focused on Twitter’s continued commitments to GARM around common definitions, common measures, common tools and independent verification”, WFA said in a statement.
“Twitter’s leadership was engaged and committed to working with GARM to document brand safety measures currently in place and develop a roadmap for future improvements, on an accelerated but mutually agreed timeframe.”
Trying to calm markets, Twitter recently in a blog post said:
- First, none of our policies have changed. Our approach to policy enforcement will rely more heavily on de-amplification of violative content: freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach.
- Our Trust & Safety team continues its diligent work to keep the platform safe from hateful conduct, abusive behavior, and any violation of Twitter’s rules. The team remains strong and well-resourced, and automated detection plays an increasingly important role in eliminating abuse.
- When urgent events manifest on the platform, we ensure that all content moderators have the guidance they need to find and address violative content.
- As we improve our policies and processes, bad actors will also develop new methods of disruption. This is not new. Our team of experts is constantly adapting to identify and defuse threats, and we are proud of our early results: impressions on violative content are down over the past month, despite the growth in overall usage on the platform.
- Finally, as we embark on this new journey, we will make mistakes, we will learn, and we will also get things right. Throughout, we’ll communicate openly with our users and customers, to get and share your feedback as we build.
If this will be enough to calm advertisers is yet too early to say.
After a month with confusing messages about Twitter’s basic blue ticks, the company has announced users can buy the ticks that are to verify the accounts. The ticks were earlier given to verified major tweeters.
Musk said users paying for the ticks will see half the amount of advertising. Next year, the company will offer a tick that will spare users from all ads, Musk tweeted. He did not mention any details.
“Twitter Blue subscribers will get access to subscriber-only features* such as Edit Tweet, 1080p video uploads and reader mode, Twitter announced.
“Accounts found to be breaking our rules may be suspended without a refund”, the company said. Subscriptions for Android will follow.
Twitter Blue is $8/month on web, and $11/month for those who sign up on iOS. The company said subscriptions for Android will follow.