More than half of Twitter's 1,000 largest advertisers leave social platform, and ex-employees create competing platforms

February 14, 2023  14:03

As of January of this year, more than half of Twitter's 1,000 major advertisers had stopped advertising on the social platform. At the same time, a number of former Twitter employees are creating social platforms that can potentially compete with Twitter.

Advertiser leakage

According to Pathmatics, about 625 of Twitter's 1,000 largest advertisers, including major brands such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Jeep, Wells Fargo and Merck, have stopped advertising on the social platform as of January.

As a result of the advertisers' withdrawal, monthly ad revenue dropped more than 60 percent from October to Jan. 25, from about $127 million to $48 million, CNN reported. Twitter previously generated about $4.5 billion in annual ad revenue.

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According to experts, one of the reasons why advertisers are leaving is the lack of confidence in the social platform, as well as massive layoffs in Twitter (at the time the company had more than 7,500 employees, now – about 2,300), because of which many advertisers have lost contacts in the company and faced a number of difficulties. There are also technical problems, which, of course, also discourage advertisers.

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However, experts of the Financial Times believe that the main reason for the departure of major advertisers are not technical problems and not even the lack of people with whom these companies used to work, and the personality of Elon Musk, who, according to the publication, personally called the managers of some companies and scolded them and conflicted with them.

Twitter launched a number of initiatives to stop the mass outflow of advertisers and bring them back. For example, the social network offered advertisers free advertising, more favorable terms, removed the ban on political ads that had been in effect since 2019, and gave companies more control over the placement of their ads. Apple and Amazon resumed advertising on Twitter in December 2022.

Former Twitter employees create competing platforms

A number of employees who have left Twitter have created new social platforms that could become potential competitors to Twitter. Former Twitter employee Sarah Oh joined her friend Gabor Cselle, formerly of Twitter and Google, and together they created a new social network. A social network called T2 is similar to Twitter in many ways, but according to Sarah Oh, security is most important to them.

“We really do want to create an experience that allows people to share what they want to share without fearing risk of things like abuse and harassment, and we feel like we’re really well positioned to deliver on that,” Oh said.

Former Twitter employees also created the social networking site Spill, as well as a startup backed by one of Twitter's investors. The series also includes a service created by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Nevertheless, according to CNN, replacing Twitter, which is used by 200 million people a day, is not that easy. For example, Mastodon, recently considered Twitter's most popular competitor, had 2.5 million users as of November 2022, though that number has since dropped to 1.4 million.

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