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Can Anything Save X Now? A Deep Dive Into X ad updates and More

Feb 29, 2024

Social Media Marketing News

Can Anything Save X Now? A Deep Dive Into X ad updates and More

When Elon Musk took over Twitter in 2022, the world shuddered to think what he would do with the platform. 

First, he renamed it X. Then, he fired thousands of workers. Next, he introduced paid subscriptions. After that, many hoped his tirade was over. 

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

A year down the line, Musk has made too many changes to X to keep track. The current state of X is in such a shambles, that many users have given up on it completely. 

Yet, what updates have actually taken place over the past year? Specifically, how have the many X ad updates changed how marketing works on the platform? 

Read on to find out all the major X ad updates you need to know. 

X AD UPDATES AND MORE: MAJOR X NEWS OF LATE 

Before we get into the current state of X, let’s take a look at the major changes the platform has undergone recently. 

X is letting advertisers run their ads next to a list of selected creators. 

X ad updates

X ad updates have been making the news recently, with Musk attempting to make his platform more appealing to advertisers. 

X announced that advertisers will soon gain the ability to run their ads next to a list of curated content creators. The decision will ensure that X does not see a repeat of the controversy that rocked the platform last year, when advertisers found their commercials placed next to pro-Nazi content. This resulted in brands either pausing or completely pulling their advertising on X. 

According to X, starting this month, advertisers will be able to “run ads against a curated list of premium content creators via Creator Targeting.” Interestingly, advertisers will be able to select the creators that their ads will be seen next to. Whether or not creators must agree to having these ads attached to their content is not clear. 

Moreover, in future X ad updates ,  the platform is planning on soon making it possible for brands to only serve ads on an individual creator’s profile. This would allow advertisers to completely control how their ads are seen; at present, there is still the chance that an ad could end up sandwiched between an approved creator’s post and an offensive one. 

On top of this, this new X ad targeting feature would give advertisers the ability to reach their desired audience far more effectively. For example, if ASOS wants to target twenty year old girls, they can assign their ads to a creator that this group follows. 

The move is major, given that many companies pulled their advertising from X in recent months. Notably, Apple and Disney both paused their X ad spending due to Musk’s political views and the platform’s overwhelming amount of offensive content. 

Whether or not these X ad updates are enough to draw advertisers permanently back onto X is yet to be seen. The platform is still widely regarded as dying, and its usership and general public opinion have been flailing for months now. 

For many advertisers, X just simply isn’t worth it. Especially in its new era of low quality, spam filled content. 

X announces that less than 1% of its user base are teens 

Online safety in teens on X has been a hot topic of debate for years now. 

Earlier this month, X CEO Linda Yaccarino took to downplaying the platform’s reach with younger users, claiming that less than 1% of its US users were aged 13-17. The statement was made during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on kids’ online safety. 

This comment, when combined with the other figures Yaccarino shared during the hearing, point towards a fact many have believed for months now; X is facing a year-over-year decline.

In spite of Musk’s protests, it seems X really is on its way out. 

X signs a partnership with BetMGM

X ad updates

Outside of X ad updates, Musk has been forging partnerships with unlikely players. 

On Friday, X announced that it signed a partnership with sports betting operator BetMGM. Via the deal, BetMGM is now X’s exclusive Live Odds Sports Betting partner. As such, users will now be able to use the betting service on X. 

At present, US based users are able to scroll through betting odds for pro football, with other sports to become available in time. The new interface allows users to click through onto BetMGM’s website or app where they can continue their journey, but in time the connection between X and the service will become far more intertwined. 

The move propels X closer to Musk’s everything app dream for the platform. 

X removes NFT profile pictures 

To kick off 2024, X released a “grand vision” for the company, outlining how the platform will behave over the next year. 

Amongst various X ad updates, this vision includes the platform establishing peer-to-peer payments, more AI-powered tools, no paid subscriptions and no NFTs as profile pictures. 

The NFT feature was initially introduced by Twitter back in early 2022. The removal of this feature is likely due to the declining NFT market, with the value of high-priced tokens like the Bored Ape Yacht Club plummeting. However, in the last few months of 2023, the market showed small signs of recovery, with trade volumes exceeding $1.6 billion. 

X becomes most downloaded app on the US App store 

On February 7th, X became the number one app on the US app store. On February 6th alone, X was downloaded 117,000 times. The day before, it was only downloaded 93,000 times. 

The cause for the app’s sudden popularity? Tucker Carlson – we think. 

Carlson took to his X account to announce that he would be publishing a one on one interview with Russian president Vladimir Putin. After this announcement, downloads of X spiked significantly. Yet, media outlets have been conscious to point out that a viral moment with Drake may also have spurred this phenomenon. 

Whatever caused this spike in popularity, it gives a glimmer of hope for Musk. Perhaps, X still has a place in the social media community. Perhaps, it is not yet completely irrelevant. 

However, whether these new users will stay on the platform after having watched Carson’s promised interview, is yet to be determined. 

 THE CURRENT X SITUATION 

With all these X ad updates occurring over the past months, what does the platform actually look like? 

At present, X has been described as a “ghost town.” 

With major brands and advertisers pulling their content from X just last year, the platform has become overrun with Musk fanatics and spam bots. Much like many other corners of the internet, X has become overrun with “zombie content” created to fool humans and win algorithms. 

@datastevenson

Replying to @Chez Fake inappropriate AI generated photos of Taylor Swift are currently going viral. Its suspected that Twitter and Elon Musk has disabled searching for Taylor Swift because of this. In this video I discuss why it’s a bad thing. #taylorswift #elonmusk #twitter

♬ Mozart Eine Kleine Nacht Musik(1484813) – takmusic

 

A study run by a cybersecurity firm at the start of this month found that three-quarters of traffic to the firm’s site from X was fake. For reference, less than 3% of traffic from TikTok, Facebook and Instagram is fake. 

This bot-run wasteland has fuelled many users to not only exit the platform as quickly as possible, but to believe that there might not be a future for X anymore. What little hope users had that X could crawl its way out of its own grave has quickly disappeared. 

To make matters worse for X, it is now having to fight off more competition than ever before. From TikTok to Threads, competing apps are soaring to the top of the charts and winning over user’s hearts; something X has failed to do for many years now. 

From over priced subscriptions to dangerously high amounts of misinformation, X has had a pretty terrible year – and it doesn’t look like this is ending any time soon. 

Users and advertisers have fled the app for good reason; will any X ad updates be able to bring them back?

WHERE IS X HEADED? 

Ultimately, in spite of its many X ad updates, the platform has been on a downward spiral for many months now. 

Musk’s changes to the platform, specifically X ad updates aimed at marketers, do not pack enough punch to bring advertisers back to X. This is due to one simple fact; no matter what Musk does, he cannot change the fact that he is the mind behind X. 

Advertisers are simply not willing to trust a platform run by Musk. His public image and political affiliations are just too dangerous and chaotic for brands to align themselves with. Even if Musk managed to clean his platform of bots, and create a space geared towards creators and brands, it is highly improbable that advertisers would be willing to return. 

@staff.graph

Whats the best way to deal with the 🤖 on twitter? #funny #twitter #bots #socialmedia #podcast #society #fyp #trending #elonmusk

♬ original sound – Staff & Graph

With advertisers gone, users are left with a barren landscape filled with bots. Each day usership drops – September of 2023 saw 13% less users logging in each day compared to October 2022 – giving users even less of a reason to stay active. 

From a marketing perspective, X is not worth the effort. Even with Musk attempting to entice advertisers back in, X was labelled a dead platform long ago. 

No X ad updates Musk carries out – emphasis on Musk here – can change that.

Our influencer marketing agency and social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to find industry insights, visit our influencer marketing and social media blogs.

@sociallypowerful

Author

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Ella Proctor

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