Elon Musk Offers Ad Discounts on Twitter, But There’s a Catch

The social media company is still spending more than it's making due to a 50 percent drop in advertising revenue, Elon Musk said earlier this month.

Elon Musk stands in a suit with palms facing the camera.
Elon Musk bought Twitter last year. Getty Images

Twitter is offering ad discounts to lure companies back to spending on the platform, the Wall Street Journal reported. It is also threatening that companies will lose their gold verification checkmarks if they don’t spend money on the app, according to the Journal. The checkmarks help users distinguish which profiles belong to brands and which are parody accounts.

The platform is offering up to 50 percent off video ads that show on the app’s “Explore” page, where trending topics in news, sports and entertainment appear. The threshold for keeping the gold checkmark is $1,000 spent on ads in the previous 30 days or $6,000 in 180 days, the Journal reported.

Its business move is part of an ongoing campaign to attract advertisers. In December 2022, Musk, who owns Twitter, offered a buy-one-get-one sale for the platform’s biggest spenders.

Earlier this month, Musk posted that the company is still spending more than it’s making due to a 50 percent drop in advertising revenue. This isn’t a new problem for the social media company. Twitter was having advertising issues before Musk became involved, but the ownership change in October 2022 caused many companies to pause their spending on the app. Twitter makes the majority of its revenue through advertising, so executives have been working to convince companies the site is worth putting their money into. In May, Musk hired Linda Yaccarino, an NBCUniversal advertising executive, to serve as CEO of the social media platform.

In recent weeks, Musk and Yaccarino have made a series of changes to the site. After renaming the company X Corp. in April, Musk changed Twitter’s site name and branding to the letter X on July 23. He previously changed the site logo to an image of the Dogecoin dog for a period of three days as a joke.

The Dogecoin icon appears where the Twitter bird icon once did.
Dogecoin icon appearing where the Twitter bird one did. NurPhoto via Getty Images

The executives also put a temporary limit on how many posts a user could see per day. Verified users could view 6,000 posts each day, while unverified accounts could read 600. The move intended to “address extreme levels of data scraping,” according to Musk. Scraping occurs when third parties pull data from a website. Musk later increased the view count to 10,000 for verified users and 1,000 for others.

Last month, Yaccarino appointed Joe Benarroch as a business operations executive. He formerly worked with Yaccarino at NBCUniversal, where he served as senior vice president of communications, advertising and partnerships.

Elon Musk Offers Ad Discounts on Twitter, But There’s a Catch