Bye Bye Birdie: Why Advertisers Are Leaving Twitter

Since Elon Musk’s takeover and buyout of Twitter back in late October of 2022, we’ve seen a noticeable shift in the advertising meta. Obviously, that’s to be expected with a change in management, and the fact that Twitter is constantly in the news should be a good thing, right? Unfortunately, the old adage that “bad publicity is better than no publicity” hasn’t held up. With all the negative attention Twitter has been getting, more and more advertisers have decided to jump ship. But that leaves a lot of questions about the future to be answered: What will replace Twitter? Will users migrate back once the issues surrounding Twitter are dealt with? What long term effects will Twitter’s choices under Elon have on other Social Media platforms?

An Advertising Exodus 

Since Twitter was purchased back in late October of last year, advertisers have been fleeing in droves. As of January 2023, 625 of Twitter’s highest paying advertisers have left the platform¹. Those advertisers included Coca-Cola, Unilever, Jeep, Wells Fargo and Merck. As a result of the pullback, monthly revenue from Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers dropped a record amount, more than 60%, just from October through January. For that amount of time Twitter usually averaged around $127 million which saw a drop to only $48 million, according to the data². If it’s in multinational/global companies best interest to leave the platform, what does that say about those who stay?  This doesn’t even cover the complete Twitter blackout for the European Union. As Twitter refused to alter their feed to follow the EU’s anti-defamation code, they decided that it would be easier to keep the website blocked in the EU. Nearly every other social media platform and other tech firms have voluntarily signed up to the EU’s anti-disinformation code including Meta (with Instagram and Facebook), TikTok, Google, Microsoft and Twitch. Being completely shut off from multiple countries hinders multinational advertisers as well as others who are looking to become multinational.

Price Gouging Gone Wrong

Of course, the follow up would be, “how has this affected other platforms online”? For the most part, it has been positive. A new influx of users that left Twitter for new platforms or already existing ones have made it easier for advertisers to transition seamlessly. Unfortunately, Silicon Valley has a habit of mirroring other company’s decisions, regardless of how bad they might seem. Back in March of 2023, Twitter announced changes to its API pricing. With the new cheapest package being $42,000 a month to access 50 million tweets. While that sounds fairly reasonable, it counts every tweet a user views or posts, including their own. When Twitter averages nearly 1 Billion tweets per day, with the average user viewing 500+ tweets per day, it brings a bit more perspective³. While most other household name social media platforms don’t charge to use their API, this was an interesting move, and some other platforms have seemed to follow suit. Namely the content aggregation site, Reddit. Beginning in July 2023, the site will now charge nearly half of Twitter’s cheapest API cost, essentially killing off all third-party apps to view the site. With this going public, many users have already left and sections that have been traditionally manned by volunteer moderators have shut down with no plans to end until there are changes to their API pricing.

See CTV Differently

So what does all of this mean for marketers and advertisers? With more and more trials, tribulations, and regulations surrounding social media, this is no better time to focus and/or expand your sights into established advertising spaces. Yes, Television. While it might have changed a bit, all of those changes have been to the advertiser’s advantage. With streaming dominating the market and cable TV trying to last as long as possible, there’s a plethora of ways to hit your mark. But how does it all reach the correct consumers? Stirista, or more specifically, our DSP, AdStir, can help with that. Adstir makes ad buying and targeting simpler by bringing all the data to you in strong, concise, graphs. We know who your target companies/consumers are, we know who works for them, and Adstir can design your ideal audience to appeal to them. With integrated data sets built in, or bringing in your own 1st-party data, Adstir is able to take all of it and put it into our segmented, granular, identity graph to give you the most clear idea of what you are working with, and give you successful campaigns that are measurable with view through attribution and ABM reporting.