Elon Musk says the Twitter advertiser exodus is all but over

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The advertiser boycott of Twitter is all but over. The swarms of advertisers who left the social media platform last year, shortly after Elon Musk acquired the platform, are back, according to the controversial billionaire. 

Musk gave the update at the VivaTech 2023 conference in Paris, France, today, where his panel was held at the Dome of Paris.

“Almost all of the advertisers have said that they’ve either come back or they’ve said they will come back,” Musk declared to the jam-packed arena. “I’m not aware of any exceptions, though there’s probably a few, but overall I feel pretty optimistic about the future.”

Indeed, Musk explicitly stated that Disney is, in fact, one of the platform’s more noteworthy advertisers to have returned. However, advertising spend data that SensorTower previously shared with Digiday showed that Disney didn’t ever really leave the platform, and has averaged at around $268,398 weekly spend since last October.

Furthermore, over the past few weeks, numerous other ads from prominent brands such as Mondelex, Sky, Kia U.K. and Bank of America have also been spotted on the platform. 

While these advertisers are back advertising on Twitter, the likelihood is they’re not spending anywhere near the levels they were before. Otherwise, Twitter’s ad revenue wouldn’t have fallen so low in recent months. For the five weeks from April 1 to first week of May 2023, Twitter’s U.S. ad revenue reached $88 million, but was still down 59% from 2022, The New York Times reported.

It’s not all doom and gloom over at Twitter. Musk also said that the social media platform is seeing “all time highs” when it comes to usage nowadays. And he might just be right. According to Apptopia, Twitter DAUs are currently 3.3% higher now than they were last October.

But Twitter is still very far down a really rocky road. Despite many large advertisers being back on the platform, at least in some capacity, it hasn’t really made any major changes to the social network itself. The app is still riddled with questionable content, short of staff and without a compelling proposition to monetize all the user engagement it undoubtedly has.

So Twitter certainly still has huge holes to fill, especially when it comes to brand safety — which is a huge deal breaker for most advertisers. And it sounds like new CEO Linda Yaccarino, who only recently completed her first week on the job, now has a tough job on her hands.

During the VivaTech Panel, Asmita dubey chief digital & marketing officer at L’Oreal put Musk on the spot by asking, “Now that Yaccarino, a seasoned advertiser, is on board, how will Twitter win back the trust of advertisers? Will Yaccarino be given the support and freedom to manage the situation, and if so, how?”

“I think Linda is going to do amazing things for Twitter, and she obviously understands where advertisers are coming from very deeply, and understands the concerns that advertisers have,” Musk responded. “I think we’ll do a great job in addressing those concerns.”

He went on to discuss the idea that all this comes down to is what content an advertiser wants their content to appear next to. And that Twitter’s goal is to “make sure the content adjacency matches what the brand is comfortable with.”

Whether that is enough to reassure the market, only time will tell.


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