Elon Musk Will Share Twitter Ad Revenue With Twitter Blue Verified Users



Elon Musk says that Twitter will start sharing revenue from reply-thread ads with creators who are subscribed Twitter Blue Verified, The Verge reported. According to Musk, “legacy” verified marks will be going away in “a few months.” He says the program will start today, though there are currently few details about how it will work.

According to The Verge, subscribing to Blue will cost you $8 per month if acquired directly via its site or $11 per month from Apple’s App Store or Google Play, but the cheapest version is an annual subscription directly from Twitter for $84. It is unclear how many viral tweets it would take to pay that off, but it could be difficult given Twitter’s rocky relationship with advertisers right now.

The Verge noted that there is still a lot of information that we don’t know, and so far, none of Twitter’s support pages for accounts or creators have posted any details for a program that is apparently starting today.

Mashable reported that Musk announced via his Twitter account that the company would begin sharing ad revenue with content creators on the platform as of today. He said creators will get paid for the ads that show up in replies to their tweets.

In a follow up post, Musk snuck in an added caveat: The creator has to first sign up for a paid Twitter Blue subscription ($8 on the web, $11 on iOS devices) before they can take part in the ad revenue share program.

Mashable also reported that Musk did not provide any details aside from the Twitter Blue requirement. There has been no additional information about this program that ostensibly starts today – not from Musk, and not from any of Twitter’s official accounts.

If you are a creator, Mashable pointed out, you should be extremely wary of this right now. Twitter has not shared what the revenue share is, such as what percentage each side would be getting. The company did not explain if the pay would be based on impressions (i.e. how many times an ad is viewed), or if it would be based on how many times an ad was clicked on. Would the revenue share actually be engagement, such as how many interactions, such as likes or retweets, an ad receives? Who knows?

Personally, I think Elon Musk’s idea of monetizing creators through Twitter Blue Verified is very flawed. As The Verge and Mashable reported, there is no information about how it works or what creators will be paid.

This comes after Twitter announced it would “no longer support free access to the Twitter API”. There was a lot of pushback from disgruntled app creators. As I suspected, if Twitter couldn’t push the app creators into paying for the API, it would target users and attempt to extract money from them. That’s what’s happening with Twitter Blue Verified.


Activision Blizzard Pays SEC $35 Million To Settle Probe



CNBC reported that video game developer Activision Blizzard agreed to pay a $35 million settlement over charges it failed to maintain “adequate” controls for collecting and assessing reports of workplace misconduct and that it violated federal whistleblower protection rules, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday.

The SEC claimed workplace misconduct complaints were neither collected nor analyzed as expected by public disclosure regulations, CNBC reported. “Moreover, taking action to impede former employees from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible security law violation is not only bad corporate governance, it is illegal,” SEC director Jason Burt said.

The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing but concludes a probe that focused on Activision Blizzard’s standards from 2018 to 2021.

The SEC included the following paragraph in its press release:

“The SEC’s order finds that Activision Blizzard failed to implement necessary controls to collect and review employee complaints about workplace misconduct, which left it without the means to determine whether larger issues existed that needed to be disclosed to investors,” said Jason Burt, Director of the SEC’s Denver Regional Office. “Moreover, taking action to impede former employees from communicating directly with the Commission staff about a possible securities law violation is not only bad corporate governance, it is illegal.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that female employees at Activision complained for years about alleged sexual assaults and mistreatment. The SEC’s probe examined what Activision’s management knew about the alleged incidents and how it addressed them internally, the Journal reported.

Activision’s system wasn’t designed to collect and analyze complaints about workplace misconduct across its separate business units, the SEC said in a settlement order. As a result, Activision’s management and directors often didn’t have information about employee complaints or incidents involving harassment, the SEC order said.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the settlement also said that Activision’s separation agreements with employees from 2016 to 2021 included an improper clause requiring ex-workers to tell the company if agencies such as the SEC contacted them about reports of misconduct. The SEC said that requirement violated the SEC’s whistleblower-protection rules, which seek to ensure that company insiders aren’t prevented from informing regulators about wrongdoing.

It is interesting to note that The Wall Street Journal reported that the $35 million fine is a significant penalty for an enforcement case focused on a company’s disclosure procedures. The SEC under Chair Gary Gentler and Enforcement Director Gurbir S. Grewal has ratcheted up penalties, saying fines need to be higher to effectively deter wrongdoing.

My hope is that the SEC’s order will result in Activision Blizzard to actually listening to employees who have been harassed or abused in the workplace and enact a significant penalty upon the person(s) who engaged in harassment or abuse. If not, I suppose the SEC can take additional action on the company.


ISP Lied to FCC to Block Competitor Funding #1647



ISP Lied to FCC to Block Competitor Funding by putting in false data about where they currently offered service and at what speeds, which would have made it hard for a competitor to get expansion funds due to there not being a need to build out an area. Yet this lie is in areas with no ISP services existing at all. Not only are people suffering and unable to get high-speed internet, you now have ISPs lying about where they do have service, making it even harder for consumers to get high-speed service.

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Twitter To End Free Access To Its API



Twitter will discontinue offering free access to the Twitter API starting February 9 and will launch a paid version, the Elon Musk-owned microblogging website said as it looks for more avenues to monetize the platform, TechCrunch reported.

In a series of tweets, the Twitter Developer account said the firm will be ending support for both legacy and v.1.1 and the new v2 of its Twitter APIs. According to TechCrunch, Twitter did not immediately say how much it plans to charge for API usage.

The move follows Twitter abruptly changing the terms of its API in recent weeks that were used by many popular Twitter clients such as Tweetbot and Twitterific. Most third-party Twitter apps have shut down their mobile apps.

“Twitter data are among the world’s most powerful data sets. We’re committed to enabling fast & comprehensive access so you can continue to build with us,” Twitter Dev account said Thursday. “Over the years, hundreds of millions of people have sent over a trillion Tweets, with billions more every week.”

TechCrunch also reported that researchers also use the Twitter API. Twitter’s new announcement might impact research in different areas including hate speech and online abuse. Universities often use Twitter to study human behavior in different regions.

Financial Times reported that Twitter has begun applying for regulatory licenses across the US and designing the software required to introduce payments across the social media platform, as Elon Musk searches for new revenues to turn around the business.

According to Financial Times, these moves to allow payments through the site are a critical part of Musk’s plan to open up fresh revenue streams. Twitter’s $5bn-a-year advertising business has cratered since he bought the platform for $44bn in October, with marketers citing concerns over its management and content moderation.

Financial Times also reported that Musk has said he wants Twitter to offer fintech services such as peer-to-peer transactions, saving accounts and debit cards, as part of a master plan to launch an “everything app” that incorporates messaging, payments and commerce.

Engadget reported that developers will soon have to pay Twitter to be able to use its API. Twitter will launch a “paid basic tier”, but the company has yet to reveal how much it would cost.

If I’m understanding this correctly, at this moment, Twitter is hoping that app developers will choose to pay Twitter … for whatever amount Twitter eventually reveals. I suspect that most developers will choose not to pay for Twitter’s API and will leave the social media site.

If the developers refuse to pay for access to Twitter’s API, Mr. Musk is going to look elsewhere to monetize Twitter. My concern is that he will start charging Twitter users a fee for using the platform.


Netflix Issues Rules Regarding Account Sharing



Netflix has unveiled its plans to prevent password sharing between people in households outside of an account owner’s primary location, IGN reported.

According to IGN, the FAQ pages for US and UK Netflix subscribers currently highlight the devices that may require verification if they are not associated with the Netflix household or if they attempt to access an account outside the subscriber’s primary location for an extended period of time.

Subscribers who want to share their Netflix account with someone who doesn’t live with them can add an extra member to their account, IGN noted. Members can also transfer a profile from an existing account elsewhere, allowing them to keep their personalized data on another account.

The plan to convert “borrowers” – those who are currently using Netflix accounts that are owned by separate households – to paid subscribers is expected to roll out by the end of March, with the introduction of more account sharing restrictions and extra member fees in more countries.

Gizmodo reported that without any official announcement, Netflix updated its support page to detail how it plans to restrict users from sharing an account with folks outside their immediate household. However, the company made changes to the page after it was initially posted, and it still remains unclear just how upcoming restrictions on password sharing will work.

The Netflix website posted what appears to be the current information about account sharing on its website. There is a post titled “Sharing Your Netflix account”. That information includes:

  • A Netflix account is for people who live together in a single household.
  • Sharing Netflix with someone who doesn’t live with you

People who do not live in your household will need to use their own account to watch Netflix.

It is easy to sign up for Netflix and we offer a variety of plans. As always, members can change plans or cancel at any time.
When a device outside of your household signs in to an account or is used persistently, we may ask you to verify that device using the account is authorized to do so.

Netflix will not automatically charge you if you share your account with someone who doesn’t live with you.

  • Verifying a device

When someone signs into your account from a device that is not associated with your Netflix household, or if your account is accessed persistently from a location outside of your household, we may ask you to verify that device before it can be used to watch Netflix. We do this to confirm that the device using the account is authorized to do so.

  • How Netflix detects devices within a household

We use information such as IP addresses, device IDs and account activity from devices signed into the Netflix account.


Productivity Higher when Employees work from Home? #1646



A study says employees who do not have to commute devote more time to their jobs than those with higher productivity. It’s a fascinating study and one that makes me wonder if it’s truly true as there are so many variables out there that could affect this.

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AI Bot Passes Business School Exam #1645



An AI Bot has passed a business school exam where the professor said he would have given the bot a B or B- on the full exam but that some of the answers were A+ worthy. We are headed towards exciting times which could forever change humanity. The number of AI-type pitches I am getting is at least 1-2 a week.

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