Twitter has been in the spotlight since late October, when billionaire Elon Musk acquired the social media platform, facing scrutiny from some very notable brands. The swift layoffs, failed rollout of new features, and overall turmoil within Twitter HQ caused many companies to rethink their advertising partnerships. Nonprofit organization Media Matters suggested Twitter lost around 50% of its top advertisers. Despite the brief ripple, Elon Musk has said that 2 of the largest advertisers, Amazon and Apple, have resumed ad rollouts.
On November 28th, Elon Musk tweeted, “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?” He followed up with a Tweet, directly tagging Apple CEO Tim Cook, asking, “What’s going on here @tim_cook?” Musk even alleged, “Apple has also threatened to withhold Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.”
While we don’t have a clear picture behind the scenes at Apple, we do know that App Store chief, Phil Schiller, deactivated his Twitter account once Musk took the reigns, possibly signaling that the tech giant was unhappy with his acquisition and changes. When asked if Apple was threatening Twitter’s presence in the App Store or making moderation demands, Musk responded with a simple “Yes.”
We can make an educated guess that Apple was unhappy with Twitter’s unbanning of controversial accounts and loosening the reigns on moderation. In fact, back in early November, Apple’s ad agency, Omnicom, sent out a memo to clients recommending that they pause advertising due to instability and safety risks. We’ve learned that Elon Musk and Tim Cook met regarding the “misunderstanding” about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. The meeting seemed to be a successful one for both parties, as Apple has now resumed its advertising. It’s reported that Apple is one of Twitter’s top advertisers, paying around $100 million annually.
Amazon is another top Twitter advertiser. Though they never fully pulled their ads, they did throttle efforts temporarily. It was just announced that Amazon is not only returning to Twitter ads but also ramping up their spending to $100 million annually once certain security measures are met. We can infer that the increase in spending may be thanks to a new incentive from Twitter. Those who book more than $500,000 in incremental spending will get 100% “value add” (additional impressions and matching ad spend), up to a $1M cap. This is said to be the most ambitious offer Twitter has ever offered to its advertisers, which is sure to lure in at least a handful of companies who’d previously moved away from the platform.
90% of Twitter’s annual revenue comes from ad sales. We’ll be keeping an eye out to see if any other advertisers make their way back to the platform any time soon.
Do you think the value match deal is enough to win back accounts?