Elon Musk’s free speech plans could be “disastrous” for Twitter’s advertising revenue
In the Interview, the specialist told us that taking Twitter private could help the company create, test and launch new features quicker and without public scrutiny – a current “thorn in the side” of Twitter developers. They also said the interest and excitement caused by Musk’s bid could increase monetisable daily active users by 30-40%.
However, the specialist does not “understand” Musk’s plans to change Twitter’s free speech policy. While they said it might increase some “tertiary volume of tweets”, they said these are likely to come from users with “highly polarised views”. This, they added, could “take the common person out of the equation” and make them more reluctant to tweet – further skewing Twitter’s current engagement in which 80% of users account for 15% of tweets.
The specialist said Musk’s free speech plans would also be “disastrous” from a business perspective. An increase in polarised views would likely “curb advertisement interest”, the specialist warned, with advertisers from Fortune 500 companies unlikely to associate themselves with such views. These companies contribute 90% of Twitter’s advertising revenue, the specialist told us, and as such, they believe the risks of Musk’s proposed plans far outweigh the gains.
If Musk completes his acquisition of Twitter, the specialist said it will be “interesting” to monitor if advertisement remains Twitter’s main source of revenue. The specialist believes Musk is “smart enough” to improve new user retention on the platform, but that he faces a delicate “balancing act” to determine how far he wants to stretch free speech within the current economics of the business.
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