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Elon Musk engages in Twitter feud over ad relevance with ex-employee

Elon Musk calls for overhaul of 'sheer madness' system

20 February 2023

|

Jayashri Ghorpade

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  • Twitter chief Elon Musk lashed out at a former employee on Saturday over advertising relevance on the social media platform.

  • Musk noted that the current system was ‘sheer madness’ and needed an overhaul at the earliest.

  • He said that the company had begun improving relevance in December last year, but still had ‘a very long way to go’.

After the company's ex-revenue product lead Bruce Falck took to Twitter insisting that Musk had absolutely no idea what he was talking about, Twitter chief Elon Musk lashed out at him on Saturday over advertising relevance on the social media platform. Falck had been reacting to an update wherein Musk said Twitter was working to ‘improve contextual relevance’ on the social media platform.


“My apologies, you must be a genius, which is why Twitter has the worst ad relevance on Earth. Almost nobody buys anything on Twitter, but almost everyone on Instagram does. That is being fixed," came the sharp rebuttal from the company's new commander-in-chief. As he added, in response to supportive messages from several users, “Irrelevant or annoying ads work for neither the user nor the advertiser!"


Musk stated that the current system is "sheer madness" and requires an overhaul immediately, responding to another user. He added that the company started improving relevance in December 2021 but still has a long way to go.


“When I ask people if they use Twitter, almost all have for many years. When I ask if they’ve ever bought something from an ad after using the site for a decade, the answer is almost always no. That’s insane!" he said.

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“The biggest problem is that Twitter optimized for impressions over clicks, with the perverse result that it maximized ad irrelevance, because clicking on an ad takes you away from Twitter, thus reducing impressions generated per user-minute. The sheer madness of this takes a moment to appreciate," the Twitter CEO added.


In an effort to increase security for their users, the company made an announcement this week that there will be a new change taking place. Starting from March 20, only those who are paid subscribers will be permitted to use text messages as a method of two-factor authentication to secure their accounts. While some users may be disappointed with this new policy, it is being implemented to ensure maximum security for those who are willing to pay for the extra level of protection. This comes at a time when data breaches and security threats have become increasingly prevalent, so it is important for companies to take measures to protect their users' data.


“Use of free authentication apps for 2FA will remain free and are much more secure than SMS," Musk added.

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