(Reuters) – Advertisers may be reluctant to advertise on Twitter if Elon Musk goes through with his plans for unlimited free speech on social media, analysts said after the company was bought out by the world’s richest man. world, for 44 billion dollars.
Although Elon Musk, a self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist, didn’t elaborate on how he intended to “make Twitter better and fix it,” he has repeatedly faulted the company for not doing enough to support it. freedom of expression and criticized its content moderation policy.
Advertising is Twitter’s main source of revenue, and analysts fear that unbridled free speech is giving way to misinformation and hate speech, which could drive advertisers away from it.
“We expect advertisers to be less willing to spend on Twitter if Elon Musk removes content moderation to promote free speech,” said MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson.
If Elon Musk lives up to his promises, advertisers on Twitter could turn to platforms like Alphabet’s Youtube, TikTok or other channels to build brand awareness, Michael Nathanson added.
“The challenge (for Twitter) will be to maintain and grow revenue, as the release of controversial content (by Elon Musk) will not be to advertisers’ liking,” said Susannah Streeter, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
The billionaire also spoke of a subscription-based business model, which could see advertisers migrate to smaller players like Pinterest and Snapchat, analysts at MKM Partners said.
“We believe there will be significant repercussions for the entire online advertising ecosystem when Twitter delists over the next several months,” they said.
The deal has been approved by Twitter’s board and is unlikely to encounter regulatory hurdles, analysts said.
(Report by Siddarth S and Pushkala Aripaka Bengalore, French version Augustin Turpin; told by Jean-Michel Blot)