Given the current state of Elon Musk’s X project, this seems like an odd move, though, at the same time, seemingly odd moves are now pretty commonplace for X.
As reported by Axios, X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is depreciating its account promotion ads, which enable brands to highlight their account in user feeds as a means to gain more followers.
Promoted accounts, which are also known as “Follower Objective” ads have long been a key way to maximize brand awareness. But apparently, the concept no longer resonates with X’s new approach, which will focus more on video and other interactive ad formats.
As per Axios:
“Promoted accounts are one of the oldest ad formats offered on the platform. The ads appear as text-based posts within the X timeline and include a "Follow" button for the account promoting them. But follower ads, while easy to sell, are static. They don't leverage any of the multi-media tools, like video, that X is trying to lean into.”
The X team has been informing clients of the change, which has already gone into effect in some regions, though when it will be fully removed as an ad option is unclear. The new X approach of moving super fast is also leading to a more fragmented rollout of each change, which has often seen some elements of the app not matching up with the others, with the X name change itself being the key example in this respect.
But that’s the cost of rapid change, and as such, it’s hard to know exactly when each element will be final, but the X team has confirmed that Follower Campaigns will soon be phased out, as part of a larger effort to prioritize more adaptive content formats.
X has also informed ad partners that they can use other ad units, like engagement and reach objective promotions, for effectively the same thing, minus the direct focus on following.
It’s impossible to know what impact the removal will have, though Axios has also reported that Follower Campaigns currently generate around $100 million annually for the app. That’s only a fraction of the $4.4 billion X made in 2022, primarily through ad spend, though with X also seeing a 50% decline in ad revenue since Elon’s takeover at the app, any loss is significant in its broader push to return to profitability.
But Elon has a vision for what he wants, and new CEO Linda Yaccarino is also now looking to stamp her footprint on the business. Within that, it seems that some formats will be re-assessed with a view to the next stage for the app.
So now you’ll have to rely on posting good stuff, and aligning with the latest algorithm shifts to maximize X reach, and gain more followers organically.
Maybe that’s not a bad thing, but it will have an impact on various strategies.