Twitter TV: Will Musk’s Plans for Video App End Twitter’s Ad Woes?

Elon Musk has hinted that a Twitter video app is coming. But will an initiative like this convince advertisers to return?

Elon Musk has hinted that he plans to launch a Twitter video app for Smart TVs, a move that aligns with new CEO Linda Yaccarino’s reported plans to focus more closely on video content and commercial partnerships.

The social media platform has struggled greatly to maintain advertising relationships since Musk’s takeover, with a collection of companies cutting ties with the website during the first few months of the billionaire’s stint at the helm.

However, a move toward a video app is unlikely to assuage many of the fears that have driven advertisers away from Twitter since Musk’s arrival, which are heavily linked to a widely-reported increase in problematic content on the platform.

Musk Hints That Twitter Video App Is “Coming”

Over the weekend, Twitter user S-M Robinson stated that the social media platform “really need[s] a video app” as they were “not watching an hour-long video on Twitter”, to which Elon Musk simply responded: “It’s coming”.

The comment – left on a 1 hour, 36-minute episode of the Zuby podcast that features Musk as an in-person guest – was tweeted out just days after an investor presentation in which Yaccarino and Musk signaled a desire for a greater focus on “video, creator, and commerce partnerships”, Reuters reports.

These aren’t the first signs that Twitter’s top brass want to make the platform a viable home for the sort of longer-form video content that Twitter isn’t typically known for.

Earlier this month, controversial former Fox News host Tucker Carlson launched the first episode of his new, low-budget show on the platform, which Elon Musk described as “bold” and has already gained high viewing figures.

Twitter’s Advertising Turmoil

Twitter is scrambling to diversify its revenue streams beyond the forms of digital advertising that have been commonplace on the platform for years. During Musk’s reign, ad spending has plummeted dramatically.

Recently, it was revealed that advertising revenue was down as much as 59% year on year.

Many advertisers are thought to be put off by Musk’s attitudes toward content moderation and his penchant for abrupt, drastic changes to the social media platform’s features and policies.

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New CEO Linda Yaccarino’s recent appointment was thought to be heavily influenced by her experience and reputation in the world of advertising, but Musk still appears deeply involved with day-to-day decision-making.

Will a Video App Really Bring Back Advertisers?

Although providing a more habitable space for new forms of media present new opportunities for advertisers to spend money on Twitter, it does nothing to address the generally accepted reason why so many companies jumped ship.

Since Musk’s takeover, brand safety and content moderation chiefs have been dismissed, and concerns surrounding the level of hate speech present on the platform have been consistently raised.

On top of this, initiatives such as Twitter Blue have garnered widespread criticism, while serious security issues have drawn condemnation from senior US senators.

A new video app will do little to change current opinions on the direction Twitter is going in. Unless Musk and Yaccarino make more of a concerted effort to ensure their social media platform is a place prospective commercial partners feel comfortable placing their content, it’s hard to see the tide turning any time soon.

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Written by:
Aaron Drapkin is's Content Manager. He has been researching and writing about technology, politics, and society in print and online publications since graduating with a Philosophy degree from the University of Bristol six years ago. Aaron's focus areas include VPNs, cybersecurity, AI and project management software. He has been quoted in the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, Computer Weekly, Cybernews, Lifewire, HR News and the Silicon Republic speaking on various privacy and cybersecurity issues, and has articles published in Wired, Vice, Metro, ProPrivacy, The Week, and covering a wide range of topics.
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