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Elon Musk’s X and content creators

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By Sonny Aragba-Akpore


Conscious of the dwindling fortunes from advertising and the possible negative impact on the struggling Twitter which he rebranded as X,Elon Musk took unusual steps in June.

He announced incentives for content creators and a sum of $5million was set aside for that purpose.

He stated that X will start paying verified content creators for the advertisement in their replies.

“In a few weeks, X/Twitter will start paying creators for ads served in their replies. First block payment totals $5M,” the billionaire said in a tweet.

“Note, the creator must be verified and only ads served to verified users count,” he added.

The company had moved to subscription-based verification and restored the blue tick of users with over a million followers.

This move is to promote subscriptions and retain advertisers after the assumption of duty by new chief executive officer Linda Yaccarino .

“It happened — first day in the books!” she had tweeted.

Since Musk acquired Twitter, the “company has been struggling to retain advertisers, who have been wary about the placement of their ads after the company laid off thousands of employees.”

But Musk has implicit fate in Yaccarino, an advertising guru to improve the company’s relationship with brands after losing business following his takeover, and rejigging of the site’s content rules.

Musk thinks that the new initiative to share part of his advertising profits with content creators especially in high tech savvy countries like Nigeria and India is simply to test the waters and if this boosts the revenue of X,he will spread the initiative to other parts of the world .

The payments started in the United States of America(USA) in July despite Musk,s reservations that the society is being high handed on him and his businesses essentially because of rights/ labour laws violations.

Early in July too Musk announced a 50% drop in advertising revenues and a debt overhang of $13billion which experts say will continue to hamper growth despite the seemingly robust initiatives.

The company expected revenue boost in June by its own projections which did not materialize thus creating more nightmares for Musk and his management.

Traffic had declined as competition with Mark Zuckerberg ,s Threads debuted.

Musk,s style of running the place is also believed to be a hindrance to its growth as advertisers began to withdraw their adverts when Musk announced certain changes that didn’t go down well with them.

Musk acquired Twitter for $44billion in October 2022 at a great risk and he has determined to weather the storms despite declining revenue and near intimidating competition.

He had announced a feature that will benefit content creators on the social media platform. In a tweet posted earlier ,he said Twitter will from now on provide subscribers’ email addresses to content creators. The move will allow content creators to easily interact with their subscribers outside Twitter. Musk’s tweet has been widely appreciated by users and his followers, who also asked about what other changes he is planning to implement on the platform.

“This platform will provide email addresses of subscribers (who opt in) to content creators, so that creators are able to leave this platform easily & take their subscribers with them if they want,” Musk said.

Within hours of being posted, the tweet amassed more than six million views and over 6,700 retweets. It set the platform on fire, with several content creators appreciating the move.

“Impressive! Appreciate that @elonmusk & X team,” a user responded. “I’ve literally left Facebook behind as Twitter is not only more engaging, but it’s just better in every way. Good work mate!” said another.

Some users wanted to know if it would be possible for them to do the opposite of it since they have subscribers on other platforms.

Musk’s tweet came days after  Yaccarino took over as the new Twitter CEO. The former advertising chief at NBCUniversal took over Twitter at a time when the company is trying to reverse a plunge in ad revenue.

Yaccarino has been a key figure in modernising the advertising business at NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast Corp.

Nigerian content creators on Twitter started receiving payments for ads displayed on their feed early in August as they took to the social media platform to display various sums received as payment from X.

The company had said creators need to be verified and have about 500 followers and five million impressions to be eligible.

X rolled out payment globally when it announced the programme’s extension to global users at the end of July.

Verified users in Nigeria and worldwide, who met the criteria and the impressions threshold on their posts and content, received payment.

Many paid creators took to the platform to display their receipts and appreciate Twitter/X owner Musk for this initiative.

According to the creators, Musk had given them a reason to remain on the platform and continue churning engaging content.

Users must have been verified or subscribed to Twitter Blue to be eligible for payment.

Apart from having at least five million impressions on their posts every three months,content creators must also pass a human review for Creator Monetization Standards.

Eligible users can join and set up payments from within the Monetization section of the app found on the sidebar on the iOS and Android menu on the web.

Reports say the company stated that it might change or cancel the programme at any time at its discretion, including for business or legal purposes.

When Musk limited the daily number of tweets users could read on the microblogging site last in May, thousands of Twitter users reported problems attempting to access the social media site.

>> The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said verified accounts are limited to reading 6,000 posts a day, adding that the limitation was applied to address “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation.

>> According to his tweets: “To address extreme levels of data scraping and system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits:

>> “Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day.

>> “Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day.

>> “New unverified accounts to 300/day.”

>> Worried users, who tried to access or post content on Twitter’s website or mobile app, were met with a “Rate limit exceeded” or “Cannot retrieve tweets” error message at the weekend.

>> In February, users were unable to post on the site for about 90 minutes after receiving a message that read: “You are over the daily limit for sending Tweets.”

>> In March, users were temporarily unable to click on links or load images.

>> Other outages coincided with reports of a data centre closure and massive layoffs at Twitter, which Musk, who bought the social media platform in 2022 for $44 billion, claimed were necessary for the financial health of the company.

>>  Strangely,Musk, at the weekend joked about the microblogging site’s temporary daily reading limits after users vented their fury over the site’s new limitations.

>> “Oh the irony of hitting view limits due to complaining about view limits,” the billionaire tweeted on Sunday.

>>  He had earlier said Twitter applied the limits to address “extreme levels” of data scraping and system manipulation.

>> Musk said verified Twitter users were temporarily limited to reading 6,000 posts a day – which was later increased to 8,000 then 10,000.

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