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Twitter Provides New Insight into How it Detects Fake Accounts as Musk Saga Continues

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Twitter Announces Major Staffing Changes as Musk Deal Continues to Take Shape

So, it’s been a couple of weeks since we heard anything new on the Elon Musk/Twitter takeover push. Let’s check in and see how things are tracking.

Oh. Not great.

Today, Twitter held a briefing with reporters in which it gave more context as to how it polices fake and spam accounts, and removes such from the platform.

As reported by Reuters:

“Twitter removes more than 1 million spam accounts each day, executives told reporters in a briefing on Thursday, providing new insight into efforts to reduce harmful automated bots as billionaire Elon Musk has demanded more details from the social media company.”

Which is the key context here – Twitter is now trying to use the media to negate another anticipated pushback from Elon Musk’s team, in regards to its claims that only 5% of its active users are fake.

To recap, early last month, Musk and Co filed an official letter with the SEC in which they asserted that Twitter had breached the terms of the takeover deal by refusing to provide more insight into the number of fake profiles on its platform. Twitter has long reported that fake/spam accounts only make up 5% of its active users figure, but Musk has loudly, and publicly, refuted this, and has called for Twitter to provide more evidence in order for the deal to progress.

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Twitter has since provided Musk’s team with its ‘full firehose’ of tweets, in order to enable them to make their own assessment. But now, the sense is that Musk is about to push back on Twitter’s claims once again, which is why Twitter’s now looking to use the media to get ahead of any such move.

Though Twitter told reporters that this latest disclosure has nothing to do with the Musk deal. This is just Twitter keeping people informed, and providing a detailed explanation as to how it determines that 5% figure – not so it dilutes any subsequent reporting, which may align with Musk’s view that this is false. Just because. The two things aren’t related.

But as Platformer’s Casey Newton points out, the sense in the industry is that Musk is on the verge of launching his next public pushback, as a means to potentially wriggle out of the Twitter deal.

That seems to be the pervading view, that Musk is having buyer’s remorse, and now wants to back out of the deal entirely, which was further solidified recently, when Musk went on an unexplained Twitter break.

Still, if Musk is planning his next move, you couldn’t tell:

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Musk is still tweeting about boats and socks and horrendous wordplay that he seems to think is cool. Which all just points to the fact that you probably don’t want somebody like this in charge of Twitter anyway – but based on the terms of the deal, it does seem like Musk is going to be held to his Twitter offer, one way or another, and it still feels inevitable that he will become Twitter CEO sooner or later.

At least, it feels that way right now. While many legal experts have noted that Musk would have a hard time exiting the deal, it is also worth noting that Musk is super rich, and the same rules that should apply to all don’t necessarily apply to super rich folk in the same way.

In other words, while it may seem unlikely, Musk may still be able to weasel out of his Twitter takeover push, then shake it off like it was all a big joke.

Musk is known as the man who can get things done that others view as impossible, and while the legal entanglements in this case seem fairly limiting, it still seems like Musk is going to make a real go of abandoning his push to become Tweeter in chief.   

So the saga continues, at least until Musk’s team files its next grievance with the SEC.



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Twitter Outlines New Ad Improvements in Line with Evolving Data Privacy Approaches

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Twitter Outlines New Ad Improvements in Line with Evolving Data Privacy Approaches

With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, all of the major platforms are working to update their ad tools, in order to maximize ad spend, and boost campaign performance.

That’s become more important than ever due to the broader economic downturn, which has impacted the results at all the social apps, as marketing budgets shrink, and businesses reassess their promotional activity. As such, the holiday push will also provide a chance for each platform to showcase its capacity to drive better outcomes. And with even less data to work with, due to Apple’s ATT update, that poses a range of challenges in itself.

Which is the key focus of Twitter’s latest ad updates.

Today, Twitter has announced a new and improved Twitter Pixel for website visitor tracking, an updated Conversion API, and a new App Purchase Optimization process to help improve your Twitter ads campaigns.

First off, on its updated Pixel – the new version of Twitter’s pixel will enable advertisers to track more actions, like when someone adds an item to their shopping cart, while Twitter has also simplified the pixel integration and activation process.

“We simplified our event creation process, which helps advertisers more seamlessly set up their measurement solutions, and introduced updates to our Pixel Helper Chrome extension. This will help advertisers better understand the impact of their web campaigns and provide clearer support when checking to see if the Pixel is implemented properly.”

Pixel tracking can provide direct data insights to help inform your campaigns, filling some of the gaps left by users switching off in-app data tracking. It won’t facilitate the same data at scale, but more insight is always better, and these new pixel elements could make it easier to utilize Twitter’s pixel elements.

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Twitter’s new Conversion API, meanwhile, will enable advertisers to feed conversion data back to their Twitter account, without the use of third-party cookies.

“CAPI can also help improve optimization and ad targeting without the need for a Twitter Pixel, which is the first time an advertiser can finally connect data to see conversions without placing a tag on their site.”

Twitter ad updates

The new API is the first major step in Twitter’s broader effort to build for the cookie-less future, with more privacy-friendly tracking solutions to maintain, and potentially even improve performance.

The final new element is App Purchase Optimization, which will enable advertisers to deliver ads to the Twitter users that are most likely to install an app or make a purchase ‘by using machine learning to identify audiences that are more likely to take an action.

Twitter ad updates

As you can see in this example, the process will utilize Twitter’s evolving machine learning tools to select the right audience for your campaigns, which could help to maximize performance.

Twitter says that in early testing, 89% of advertisers saw a reduction in cost-per-purchase.

In addition to these new updates, Twitter has also shared some more detail on its in-development ad options, which don’t have a release date as yet. But again, with the holiday shopping push fast approaching, you can bet that Twitter will be pushing to get them out soon.

First on Twitter’s ‘Coming Soon’ list is Collection Ads, which will enable advertisers to highlight a ‘hero’ image, along with smaller thumbnail previews of related products beneath. Twitter first previewed the option back in March.

Twitter Collection Ads

As you can see in this example, brands will be able to include up to five side-scrolling images beneath the main image, with each driving consumers to a different website or product landing page, if you so choose.

Twitter says that it’s also rebuilding its Web Conversion Optimization model in order to help advertisers reach people who are more likely to convert. Meta is also focusing on similar within its broader effort to mitigate the impacts of Apple’s iOS data tracking update, with the process essentially putting increased reliance on machine learning models to optimize performance.

Finally, Twitter’s also developing a new type of Dynamic Product ads that will ‘deliver relevant products to the right person, at the right time, based on their activity both on and off Twitter’. Twitter’s current Dynamic Product Ads are based on website tracking, with Twitter able to show ads to users based on the webpages that they’ve visited. But the new format will again take a more privacy-focused approach, in order to optimize ad performance with potentially fewer signals.

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These are some significant additions to the Twitter advertiser arsenal, which also signal Twitter’s biggest steps yet in moving more into line with evolving privacy tools and restrictions.

Which is a necessary development – but in terms of actual value, and how effective they might be, it’ll really come down to how good Twitter’s machine learning tools actually are, and whether the right users end up seeing your ads as a result.

If the systems work as intended, these updates could be a big boost for Twitter marketers – but if not, it could be a frustrating holiday season for those utilizing promoted tweets.



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