Musk Bins $155 Million Dollar Ad Format, Changes X Logo Again AND Slows Access To Threads, Bluesky & The New York Times

Musk Bins $155 Million Dollar Ad Format, Changes X Logo Again AND Slows Access To Threads, Bluesky & The New York Times

Getting fed up of reading about Elon Musk and X? We’re getting very tired of writing about the goings on at the platform formerly known as Twitter but there is just too much going on for it not to be covered.

First up among today’s Musk stories is that he X has killed off one of its most profitable ad formats — the “Promoted Accounts” feature.

These would simply appear in users’ timelines with a instruction to follow an account. There is no directly promoted content, just a simple call-to-action instructing the user to follow the account.

This generated more than US$100 million (around AU$155 million) per year in revenue for X, according to a source familiar with the platform’s business who spoke to Axios anonymously. These ad formats were “easy to sell” but apparently didn’t factor into Musk’s vision for the platform which is focused on video and more media-rich ad formats.

Most interesting is that the change was reportedly “driven by X’s product group, not the revenue side of the company.”

X CEO Linda Yaccarino is formerly an NBCUniversal advertising exec, while Musk sees himself very much as a product guy. Yaccarino even told CNBC that she was in charge of the “business” side of the platform. So, despite protestations from X and reports to the contrary it certainly seems as though Musk’s hand remains on the tiller.

Another example of Musk’s continued control is that links on X to a number of different websites were deliberately made to open five seconds slower than those to other sites. Those sites include The New York Times, Instagram, Facebook, Bluesky, Threads, Reuters and Substack. Other sites, such as YouTube and Fox News, were not affected.

What do these have in common? They’ve either criticised (or appeared to have criticised) Musk or are run by rival businesses.

The news was first reported by The Washington Post and noticed by users on the Hacker News forum. Delays to site opening speeds can have a huge impact on traffic and, therefore, revenue. According to data from digital marketing agency Portent, a site that loads in one second has a conversion rate three times higher than a site that loads in five seconds. X has started to reverse the changes.

The final piece of bonkers X news is that the logo has changed — again.

Exciting stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree.




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