Tesla’s chief executive, which is buying Twitter for $ 44 billion, tweeted that the platform should have no ads so it can have more control over its content moderation policies.
Twitter has told its employees at internal staff meetings and in public documents that its advertising and other operations will continue as normal until the deal is closed, but the company cannot speculate on the changes Musk might make.
“It’s like the ghost of the future of Christmas hanging over this whole thing,” said Mark DiMassimo, founder of advertising agency DiMassimo Goldstein, referring to Twitter’s presentation to advertisers Wednesday. “Whatever (Twitter) says, all everyone really wants to know is what it’s going to be like in the future.”
The social media company earned $ 5 billion in revenue in 2021, most of it from selling digital advertising on its website and app.
Most advertisers haven’t pulled ad dollars off Twitter, but are watching closely to see how Musk could change the platform and his business, advertising executives said.
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“I want (Twitter) to talk and talk, because there is a lot of curiosity,” said Alex Stone, senior vice president of advanced partnerships for video and agencies at Horizon Media.
Advertising agencies and brands mingled in a cavernous New York event space before the Twitter presentation began. An ad buyer said attendees were speculating whether Twitter would joke about the private deal with Musk or approach the matter more directly.
The buyer didn’t have to wait long for a response.
“It’s been a quiet month here on Twitter,” joked JP Maheu, VP of Twitter’s global client solutions at the start of the presentation.
The company announced a number of presentation-related content partnerships.
Twitter said it is expanding its partnerships with media companies Conde Nast and Essence, which will create video and audio shows on Twitter. AND! News will launch a new live streaming show on Twitter to discuss TV shows like “The Real Housewives” and “Stranger Things”.
Advertisers will be able to purchase commercials that run alongside media company videos. The social media platform said it would be the first social partner to test an integration with iSpot, the company used by NBCUniversal to measure video viewing.
Twitter also announced that Fox Sports will host live pre-match entertainment on the platform for every match of the FIFA Men’s World Cup tournament this year in Qatar and the Women’s World Cup event in 2023.
Sarah Personette, Twitter’s chief customer officer, closed the presentation by expressing gratitude to the company’s advertisers.
“Your partnership makes us better every day. We are exceptionally grateful for how you are with us,” he said.
At least one marketer left the presentation wanting more.
Jasmine Wang, director of media at Altice USA, said her company has withdrawn ad spend from Twitter due to concerns about Musk’s potential impact on the platform.
Wang said he expected Twitter’s presentation to be longer and more substantive and hoped it would address possible changes that could come from Musk.