Microsoft is dropping Twitter as a client from its advertising platform, citing the recent increase in costs for API use.
In response, Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk has threatened that it's “lawsuit time,” alleging that the company “trained illegally using Twitter data.”
Prior to this news, Twitter had lost half of its largest advertisers in the period since Musk's takeover of the company in late October 2022.
Why Microsoft Is Dropping Twitter
The advertising platform in question is Microsoft's “multi-platform Smart Campaigns,” a tool within Microsoft Advertising that allows any advertisers using Smart Campaigns to track their search-related advertising and their online presence across all social platforms at once.
Dropping Twitter from this tool means that many advertisers who would otherwise continue keeping tabs on their Twitter ads will now face additional friction if they continue advertising on Twitter. And given Twitter's dwindling reputation as an advertising hub, those advertisers may not keep placing Twitter ads at all.
Microsoft's decision to drop Twitter takes effect on April 25th, 2023. After that date, users will be unable to access their Twitter account through Microsoft, and won't be able to create tweets, schedule tweets, or view past engagement.
Elon Musk's Response
The news broke a day after Musk's appearance at an advertising conference to promote Twitter's potential for ads. During his appearance, Musk revealed that half of his social platform's biggest advertisers had left in recent months.
Now, Twitter's higher API costs are pushing more advertisers to leave, so it makes sense that Musk isn't happy. He responded on Twitter, commenting under a news alert about Microsoft's choice to drop Twitter that, “They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time.”
They trained illegally using Twitter data. Lawsuit time.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 19, 2023
This appears to be a reference to a separate issue entirely, with the only connection being that both situations involve the same two companies. Neither Microsoft nor Twitter has commented to clarify more.
How Business Social Strategies Are Impacted
In the last six months, Twitter has cut its workforce by 80%, made verification badges available as status symbols with an $8-per-month subscription, and instituted an API fee that starts at $100 per month.
None of this is reassuring to advertisers, and now that Microsoft has pulled the plug on Twitter ad support, anyone using Smart Campaigns will need to adjust their strategy. The likely move will be to increase ads on rival platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube are all potential alternatives.
The specific social media management platform your business relies on will help drive how your business adapts to the news. Costs start at about $10 per month for top services like Zoho Social's Standard plan, which manages up to 9 social channels at the same time.