Tag Archives: Twitter

Twitter’s Cash Flow Still Negative As Ad Revenue Drops 50%

Twitter’s cash flow remains negative because of a nearly 50% drop in advertising revenue and a heavy debt load, Elon Musk said on Saturday, falling short of his expectation in March that Twitter could reach cash flow positive by June, Reuters reported.

“Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else,” Musk said in a tweet, replying to suggestions on recapitalization.

According to Reuters, this is the latest sign that the aggressive cost-cutting measures since Musk acquired Twitter in October alone are not enough to get Twitter to cash flow positive, and suggests Twitter’s ad revenue may have not recovered as fast as Musk suggested in an interview in April with the BBC that most advertisers had returned to the site.

CNBC reported that by January, hundreds of advertisers had reduced or halted their ad spending on Twitter in response to Musk making steep staff cuts at the company, and implementing changes to the platform, especially restoring previously banned accounts and changing its approach to content moderation.

In April, Musk told a BBC reporter that “almost all” advertisers had resumed buying ads on Twitter. He also claimed at the time that the company was “roughly breakeven,” and expected to become cash flow positive within the next quarter, CNBC reported.

According to CNBC, his statement about Twitter’s cash flow problems today comes a little over one month since Linda Yaccarino, who previously ran global advertising for Comcast’s NBCUniversal, took on the role of Twitter CEO. NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

In recent days, Twitter began doling out a share of its ad revenue to select content creators on its platform. Musk’s remarks were made in response to followers who wanted to know why that revenue-sharing program was so limited in scope.

Mint asked “Why are advertisers avoiding Twitter?” According to Mint, Elon Musk added that Twitter is set to post $3 billion in revenue which is a significant drop from the $5.1 billion in 2021. The advertisers turned their faces away from Twitter after it relaxed its approach to content moderation. The advertisers expressed skepticism about their advertisements appearing around inappropriate content.

Engadget reported Elon Musk’s admission that Twitter has negative cash flow comes the same week that Twitter’s ad-revenue program began paying out some creators, including far-right influencers. On Friday, Musk claimed the social network could see “all-time high device user seconds usage” sometime this week. He also previously said almost all the advertisers who had left the platform following his takeover in October had “either come back” or “said they will come back.”

Personally, I know I have seen a bunch of very strange ads on Twitter. Most of them appear to be hoping people will buy things that don’t seem to have much of a use, or are potentially harmful. There is an ad that shows a grill that someone has tossed a plastic-looking mesh bag full of cut vegetables on. The only ads I’ve seen from big name brands are the ones that precede videos from a sports team.

Twitter Starts Sharing Revenue With Verified Creators

Twitter is now paying creators for a share of the ad revenue earned from ads served in the replies to their posts. Users who subscribe to Twitter Blue and have earned more than 5 million tweet impressions each month for the last 3 months are eligible to join, TechCrunch reported.

According to owner Elon Musk, the first round of creator payouts will total $5 million, and will be cumulative from the month of February onward. These payouts will be delivered via Stripe.

According to TechCrunch, from what some large creators are sharing on Twitter, these payouts are substantial. Writer Brian Krassenstein, who has about 750,000 followers, claims that Twitter paid him $25,305.

SK, a creator with about 230,000 followers, claims to have earned $2,236 from Twitter; political commentator Benny Johnson with 1.7 million followers, says he earned $9,546.

TechCrunch also noted that while Twitter pays out $5 million to creators, the company was recently sued over $500 million of unpaid severance checks to employees who were laid off amid Musk’s takeover. Twitter has also failed to pay rent on its office spaces.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter said it started paying its creators on the platform of ad revenue from ads placed in replies to their feeds.

The social-media company said the program is part of its efforts to help people earn a living directly on Twitter. The program is rolling out to an initial group of creators now and will expand later this month, the Wall Street Journal reported.

To be eligible, creators must be subscribed to Twitter Blue or be Verified Organizations, have at least five million impressions a month over the previous three months and pass a human standards review.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter owner Elon Musk said in a tweet that the payouts accounted for a period starting in February of this year, when he first announced the program. Several creators posted screenshots Thursday of amounts they said were from the program, one for roughly $37,000 from a crypto software engineer with over two million followers. The screenshots couldn’t immediately be verified.

The Verge reported that it’s not immediately clear how payouts are determined or how much revenue Twitter keeps itself, but accounts need to have at least 5 million impressions on tweets over the last three months.

According to The Verge, conservative YouTuber Benny Johnson posted that he was eligible to make nearly $10,000; @Elon-alerts, an account that shares Musk’s activity on Twitter, said that its payout amounted to around $2,200. Musk said in a tweet that the payouts are cumulative going back to February, when the program was first announced.

This situation reminds me of a website that I used to write for. It welcomed creators to join for free, and offered the chance to earn some money for their work. Not long after, the website excluded some writers from getting paid, and then lowered the payments. The site disappeared in the blink of an eye before many creators were able to access their money.

Twitter requires users to pay for Twitter Blue in order to be considered eligible for creator ads revenue. To me, it feels wrong to have to pay some money to Twitter each month for the chance of earning money there.

Twitter Traffic ‘Tanking’ As Meta’s Threads Hits 100 Million Users

User traffic on Twitter has slowed since the launch of Meta’s text-based platform, Threads, which has already surpassed 100 million sign-ups since its debut last week, NBC News reported.

Threads announced in the U.S. on Wednesday and is being touted by Meta executives like Instagram chief Adam Mosseri as a more positive “public square” for communities “that never really embraced Twitter.” So far, users seem to be on board.

“Threads reached 100 million sign ups over the weekend. That’s mostly organic demand and we haven’t even turned on many promotions yet. Can’t believe it’s only been 5 days!” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post Monday.

According to Similarweb, a data company that specializes in web analytics, web traffic to Twitter was down 5% for the first two full days Threads was generally available compared with the previous week. The company said Twitter’s web traffic is down 11% compared with the same days in 2022.

Twitter responded to CNBC’s request for comment with an automated response. Meta didn’t offer additional comment beyond Zuckerberg’s post.

The booming growth on Threads is helped by the fact that it is tied to an existing social network, Meta’s Instagram. Users can sign up with their existing handles on Instagram and are able to retain some of their following others sign up for the app.

The Guardian wrote that Twitter’s website traffic is “tanking” according to the chief of internet services company Cloudflare, amid signs users are migrating to alternative platforms such as Threads, BlueSky and Mastodon.

According to The Guardian, on Sunday, Matthew Prince posted a graph from Cloudflare’s ranking of the most popular websites in the world showing Twitter has been in decline since the start of 2023, not long after Elon Musk took over the platform.

The graph shows a significant drop in Cloudflare’s domain server ranking for Twitter in mid-2023 coincided with unpopular changes Musk made to the site, and the launch of Meta-owned rival platform Threads.

Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said in a post on Threads that he believes the toxicity of Twitter – which is purported to have 250 million users – has kept the site from being successful.

While Thread aims to be a “kinder” place, research form Media Matters showed “within 24 hours of Threads’ release, right-wing and fringe figures signed up for the platform.”

According to The Guardian, some far-right accounts are testing the platform’s moderation – which adopts the same rules as Facebook and Instagram – in attempts to get banned as a badge of honor.

Personally, I’m not thrilled with Twitter anymore. That said, I’m also not interesting in jumping over to Threads or Bluesky. My “happy place” is over on Mastodon, in a server that has incredibly good moderators.

Twitter Hit With $250 Million Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit

The National Music Publishers Assn., acting on behalf of 17 major music publishers, is filing a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Twitter for its failure to license and pay for the music widely available on its platform, Variety reported.

The complaint seeks more than $250 million in damages for hundreds of thousands of noticed infringements of approximately 1,700 works.

“Twitter fuels its business with countless infringing copies of musical compositions, violating Publishers’ and others’ exclusive rights under copyright law,” the complaint reads in part. “While numerous Twitter competitors recognize the need for proper licenses and agreements for the use of musical compositions on their platforms, Twitter does not, and instead breeds massive copyright infringement that harms music creators…

“Twitter knows perfectly well that neither it nor users of the Twitter platform have secured licenses for the rampant use of music being made on its platform as complained of herein,” it continues. “Nonetheless, in connection with its highly interactive platform, Twitter consistently and knowingly hosts and streams infringing copies of musical compositions, including ones uploaded by or streamed to Tennessee residents and including specific infringing material that Twitter knows is infringing. Twitter also routinely continues to provide specific infringers with use of the Twitter platform, which they use for more infringement. Twitter profits handsomely from its infringement of Publisher’s repertoires of musical compositions…

“Twitter’s unlawful conduct has caused and continues to cause substantial and irreparable harm to Publishers, their songwriter clients, and the entire music ecosystem. Twitter’s unlawful conduct enriches Twitter at Publishers’ and their songwriters’ expense and to the detriment of their copyrighted musical compositions. Twitter has rebuffed calls for it to obtain the licenses or other agreements needed for musical compositions to be lawfully used on its platform.”

An email to Twitter’s press account requesting comment returned an auto reply with a poop emoji.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that three major music conglomerates – Universal, Sony and Warner – joined by other publishers, on Wednesday sued Twitter for at least $250 million over the alleged infringement of roughly 1,700 works for which it received hundreds of thousands of takedown notice.

They allege the company “consistently and knowingly hosts and streams infringing copies of music compositions” to “fuel its business.” Twitter has rebuffed calls for it to obtain the proper licenses, according to the suit.

Mashable reported that a group of 17 music publishers have filed a lawsuit against Twitter alleging that rampant copyright infringement on the social network. According to the publishers, Musk’s company allows users to share music on the platform without permission from the copyright holders.

In their lawsuit, the publishers point out that pretty much every other major social media platform has worked with music publishers. The lawsuit specifically names TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat as platforms that they have entered licensing deals with.

It seems to me that Elon Musk could potentially face legal problems if Twitter doesn’t do something to appease the rights-holders of the music. Big companies like Universal, Sony, and Warner Brothers are not going to play around!

Twitter Refuses To Pay Its Google Cloud Bill

Platformer, which is run by Managing editor of Platformer Zoë Shiffer and Casey Newton, founder and editor of Platformer, posted “Twitter stiffs Google”.

“Twitter has refused to pay its Google Cloud bills as its contract comes up for renewal this month, Platformer has learned, leading to a high-stakes conflict between the companies that could result in Twitter’s trust and safety teams being crippled, Platformer reported.

While Twitter hosts some services on its own servers, the company has long contracted with Google and Amazon to complement its infrastructure. Prior to Musk buying Twitter last year, the company signed a multi-year contract with Google to host services related to fighting spam, removing child sexual abuse material, and protecting accounts, among other things.

Twitter has been trying to renegotiate its contract with Google since at least March, The Information reported that month. It had also delayed payments to Amazon Web services, leading the company to threaten withholding advertising payments.”

Elon Musk-run Twitter has reportedly refused to pay Google Cloud bills as its contract comes up for renewal this month, International Business Times reported. According to a report in Platformer, unless Twitter pays up or works something out, “its access could be cut off on June 30th when their contract ends.”

Prior to Musk acquiring the micro-blogging platform for $44 billion in October last year, the company signed a multi-year contract with Google to host services related to fighting spam, removing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and protecting accounts.

If Twitter fails to pay Google Cloud, its trust and safety teams can be left “crippled”, International Business Times reported.

Smyte, a company Twitter acquired in 2018 that offers tools to stop abuse and harassment, is among the services currently running on Google Cloud Platform.

Engadget reported that Twitter is reportedly rushing to move as many services off of Google’s infrastructure before the contract expires, but the effort is “running behind schedule,” putting some tools, including Smyte, a platform the company acquired in 2018, to bolster its moderation capabilities in danger of going offline.

According to Engadget, if Twitter can’t migrate the system to its own servers before the end of the month, Platformer suggests that a shutdown would greatly impact the company’s ability to combat spam and child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Before Saturday, Smyte had already been showing signs of strain, following Elon Musk’s deep cuts to Twitter’s workforce.

My best guess is that Elon Musk won’t pay his Google Cloud bill at all. I find it disturbing that his lack of paying those bills could flood Twitter with spam, CSAM, and other horrible things. I’m starting to wonder if not paying his bills is a big joke to Elon Musk.

CNBC Had A “Sprawling” Interview With Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk sat down for a sprawling interview with CNBC anchor David Faber on Tuesday following Tesla’s 2023 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas, CNBC reported.

During the course of their approximately hour long conversation, Musk reflected on:

How he has managed a takeover of Twitter so far and what lies ahead. Among other things, he said Twitter’s Community Notes feature has cost Twitter $40 million in business when two big clients reduced spending after their ads received community notes accusing them of false advertising. He also claimed that when the acquisition closed, Twitter had negative $3 billion in annual cash flow and $1 billion in the bank.

He also defended his own tweets that were widely criticized as lending credence to conspiracies about George Soros and a recent mass shooting event in Allen, Texas, insisting “I’ll say what I want, and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.”

His political views, including his belief that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and it wasn’t stolen, but that he thinks there was at least some voting fraud. He also said he voted for Biden but hinted that he wasn’t happy with his choice, saying “I wish we could have just a normal human being as president.”

His personal views and habits when it comes to work and productivity: He said he takes only two or three days off per year, works seven days a week and gets six hours of sleep a night. He also said he believes it’s morally wrong for people in the “laptop class” to advocate for working form home when service workers, such as people who work in factories, still have to show up in person.

CNBC also posted an article titled: “Elon Musk: Working from home is ‘morally wrong’ when service workers still have to show up” From the article:

Silicon Valley “laptop classes” need to get off their “moral high horse” with their “work-from-home bull***, Tesla CEO Elon Musk told CNBC’s David Faber in a Tuesday interview.

Musk was discussing return-to-office imperatives that have caused significant concern among tech workers in Silicon Valley and across the U.S., many of who were promised generous remote work mandates by top executives.

“I think that the whole notion of work from home is a bit like the fake Marie Antoinette quote, ‘Let them eat cake’,” Musk said. “It’s not just a productive thing,” Musk said, “I think it’s morally wrong.”

Musk referred to tech workers as the “laptop classes living in la-la-land,” telling Faber it was hypocritical to work from home while expecting service workers to continue to show up in person.

Twitter’s headquarters in the United States is located in San Francisco, California. The California Civil Rights Department clearly states: “Disability discrimination occurs when an employer treats a qualified employee or applicant unfavorably because she has a disability. The law also requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee or job applicant with a disability, unless doing so would cause significant difficulty or expense for the employer.”

It seems to me that reasonable accommodation for workers with disabilities should include the option to work from home. As a person who has disabilities, I find Elon Musk’s comments about employees who want to work from home to be disgusting and degrading.

Twitter Makes It’s First Acquisition With A Recruiting Startup

Twitter appears to have made its first deal of the Elon Musk era: buying a job-matching tech startup called Laskie, Axios has learned.

According to Axios, this is the company’s first know acquisition under Musk’s leadership, as well as a transaction that helps fulfill the billionaire’s aspirations to turn Twitter into a “super-app” that offers users multiple functions – including payments.

Founded in 2021, Axios noted, the San Francisco-based startup has focused on recruiting. Founder and CEO Chris Bakke previously sold another startup to the online job board Indeed. Laskie’s website now says the service is no longer available, but it’s LinkedIn page describes it as helping job seekers quickly find good job matches.

Twitter is paying in cash and stock, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios. While the exact price wasn’t disclosed, the source says it was in the “tens of millions”.

iPhone In Canada also reported that Twitter has reportedly struck up a deal to buy out HR tech startup Laskie. The deal marks Twitter’s first publicly known acquisition since Elon Musk took control of the social media giant late last year.

Musk’s Twitter has been focused on cutting spending – to the point that it laid off most of its workforce – and coming up with new ways of making money rather than spending it, iPhone In Canada reported.

Twitter’s motives for buying Laskie are currently unknown. While integrating Laskie’s technology into Twitter could potentially position it as a competitor to Microsoft’s LinkedIn, how Musk plans to go about doing so is anyone’s best guess, iPhone in Canada stated.

TechRadar posted the headline: “Elon Musk’s latest purchase might mean Twitter will be the place to find our next job”.

Twitter has made what is believed to be its first acquisition under its new and controversial leadership, TechRadar reported.

The acquisition of recruitment start-up Laskie appears to represent a step in the platform’s direction to becoming a do-it-all app – a goal set out by current CEO Elon Musk, who will continue to work on product, software, and sysops in his new role as CTO.
California-based Laskie describes itself as the “most powerful platform to hire tech talent” having raised $6 million in seed funding since its launch in 2021.

According to TechRadar, it is unclear what Musk and/or incoming CEO Linda Yaccarino’s goal is precisely, but acquiring a recruitment startup clearly indicates a step in that direction for the social network platform, likely in a bid to take on the mighty LinkedIn.

Furthermore, getting hold of Twitter has become notoriously hard (read: impossible) with the dissolution of its press department and the introduction of an automated reply that simply includes a poop emoji.

In my opinion, I think it will take a while before Laskie gets integrated into Twitter’s platform. Competing against LinkedIn could be a big challenge for Twitter, especially since so many people use LinkedIn to find their next job.