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Twitter Board Agrees to $44 Billion Sale to Elon Musk

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Elon Musk Launches Hostile Takeover Bid for Twitter

It’s actually happening.

Following a Twitter Board meeting on Sunday, within which they re-assessed Elon Musk’s $44 billion dollar offer to purchase the company, Twitter has now confirmed that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Musk, which will have massive implications for the future of the platform.

Musk’s plan, as he’s communicated various times, is to take Twitter private, in order to reduce the platform’s reliance on ads, thereby enabling it to be more open to ‘free speech’, however Musk interprets such.

Musk has been a vocal proponent of free speech, and has often criticized Twitter’s moderation efforts, including its decision to ban former US President Donald Trump. Now, Musk will be able to remake Twitter however he sees fit, which will likely see big changes to how it polices speech, and approaches moderation entirely – which, based on Musk’s comments, will be the key focus of his new reign at the app.

Though how exactly Musk will go about any of this remains to be seen. Already the CEO of Tesla, taking on the top job at Twitter himself seems like a big ask, which could see Musk appoint a new chief to oversee the next evolution of the app.

Current Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted this shortly after the news broke:

It’s impossible to predict what comes next, but you can bet that it’ll be a significant shift in strategy, which will likely be required if Musk wants to have any chance of recouping his massive investment in the platform.

Indeed, as some market analysts have noted, the fact that Twitter’s board has decided to accept Musk’s offer, after initially dismissing it as too low, would suggest that Twitter’s Q1 22 earnings report, due later this week, is not going to be a good one for the company.

Twitter has been up against it of late, with activist investors pushing the company to improve its results due to its consistent under-performance, particularly in comparison to Meta, which it once considered a rival in the social media space.

Now, that pressure is relieved – but even so, at such huge individual cost (around a third of Musk’s personal wealth), Musk, you would assume, must have a plan to generate more money from the app.

Could that see Musk switching to a subscription only model for all users?

That would eliminate the app’s reliance on ads, while it would also be more in line with Musk’s plan to verify all users’ real identities, in order to combat bots.

Would people pay for Twitter if they had to? If Musk were to lock every user out, unless they signed up for Twitter Blue, or equivalent, would people do it?

There are also then questions about elitism, and locking out poorer users and regions, which would limit Twitter’s growth. But then again, if Twitter’s private, those decisions would all be in-house anyway, as the platform would no longer be accountable to shareholders or the market.

It seems like that could be a potential path for Musk to pursue, but what his exact plans are, nobody but Musk really has any idea.

It’s an extraordinary development, and one that again raises questions about the disproportionate power of the billionaire class. Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, for example, owns The Washington Post, and some have suggested that it’s now more favorable to Bezos’ positions in its editorial coverage (note: independent studies have found little to no evidence of bias in the Post’s reporting since Bezos’ acquisition).

Will Elon look to censor critics, as he has in the past, on how own social network?

He’s certainly saying that won’t be the case:

Either way, prepare for major changes as Elon Musk weighs into the social media space, with control of his own social media app.




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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

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Growth Stock Surges On Ad Fraud Discovery, Analyst Upgrade

Ad data and analytics provider DoubleVerify (DV) is building the right side of a cup base with a buy point of 32.53. The growth stock is today’s selection for IBD 50 Stocks to Watch.




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DoubleVerify has a strong Composite Rating of 94 and a Relative Strength Rating of 89. Its stellar EPS Rating of 96 is even better.

Company sales grew 35% to $112.3 million in the third quarter while earnings per share of 6 cents grew 20% from the previous year.

On Jan. 10, analysts at Barclays upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight with a price target of 29. Shares gapped up over 6% on the news, and the move helped the stock start its recovery from the January low.

Growth Stock Surges After Finding Fraud Scheme

DoubleVerify helps advertising companies that target users on video, mobile, and social media platforms. The company also has an analytics side that provides data on consumer engagement.

The digital media analytics platform ensures that ads reach their target customers in a safe way. This means that ads reach actual people with the right context. The software also has tools to adapt ads to different devices.

Its technology also seeks to address ad fraud. On Thursday, the company discovered “BeatSting,” the first large-scale ad-impression fraud scheme that targeted audio ads.

DV Fraud Lab first identified the fraud scheme in 2019, which is largely responsible for advertisers losing $20 million in several scams, according to reports. DoubleVerify was credited for unveiling the fraud. Shares last Thursday surged nearly 4% in strong volume.

Deals With Twitter, LinkedIn, Meta, Facebook

The company has partnered with leading social media and mobile platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok to improve ad impact and experience. DoubleVerify has a long-standing relationship with Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META). The social media platform faced a massive boycott in 2020 when several companies removed their ads due to concerns over their brand safety.

In June of last year, DoubleVerify brought features that will allow marketers to see where their ads appear in a user’s timeline. The feature uses artificial-intelligence tools to understand the context in which ads appear. The feature also enhanced brand safety  and attracted Twitter and other social media platforms to try it out. Nonetheless, marketers did not buy in entirely, according to reports, as Twitter’s ad revenue continued to struggle.

The growth stock ranks second in the specialty enterprise software group. The stock went public in April 2021. The New York-based company has locations in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

Mutual funds own 39% of shares outstanding. That may not seem like much, but more funds have been picking up the growth stock over the past eight quarters, according to MarketSmith. The stock has an Accumulation/Distribution Rating of B-.

Exchange traded funds hold shares of DoubleVerify as well. The Invesco S&P Small Cap Information Technology ETF (PSCT) and the SPDR FactSet Innovative Technology ETF (XITK) own DV.

Please follow VRamakrishnan on Twitter @IBD_VRamakrishnan for more news on growth stocks.

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

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YouTube Will Now Enable Brands to Buy Specific Time Slots Around Major Events for Masthead Ads

YouTube has added a new time targeting element to its Masthead Ads, which will enable brands to display their promotions in key times leading up to key events.

As explained by YouTube:

In a time of multiple screens and countless ways to stay entertained, it can be challenging to get your audience’s attention. But even with so much content available at any time, people are drawn to moments they can experience together: a new movie release, a big game, a product launch, a holiday. And these are key opportunities to connect with a brand. Marketers, you know this well: you center advertising campaigns around the tentpole moments most likely to inspire your audience, shift perceptions or influence a purchase decision.”

YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead enables brands to own the most prominent placement in the app during the hour(s) leading up to, during or after priority moments.

For example:

“[During the recent World Cup], McDonald’s Brazil turned to the YouTube Cost-Per-Hour Masthead. Their strategy was savvy: reach anyone in Brazil who was watching YouTube an hour before the Brazil vs. Cameroon match and remind them to pick up McDonald’s before the game started. This perfectly timed execution delivered tens of millions of impressions at the very moment fans were preparing for the match.

It could be a good way to hook into key moments, and build momentum for your campaigns, while also establishing association with key events and subjects.

“Just a few weeks ago, Xiaomi, the leading smartphone manufacturer in India, prepared to launch their highly anticipated Redmi Note 12 series via YouTube livestream. To drive viewership, Xiaomi ran the Cost-Per-Hour Masthead during the event. Not only did this activation drive scaled awareness, it led to over 90,000 concurrent livestream views. The Redmi Note 12 went on to generate a record number of first-week sales, making it one of their most successful launches to date.

It’s an expansive, but potentially significant targeting option, which could hold appeal for big brands looking to make a big splash around major events and releases.

You can learn more about YouTube’s Cost-Per-Hour Masthead process here.

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

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'Astonishing' New Cognitive Research Shows Gaining Knowledge, Learning New Skills, and Achieving Mastery Comes Down to the Rule of 7

While talent matters, the good news is we all learn at basically the same rate–and can “learn anything we want.” Think you don’t have the talent for entrepreneurship? For leadership? For programming, for design… for whatever pursuit you may want to, um, pursue? According to HubSpot co-founder …

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