Twitter announced that it would soon be “relaxing” its ban on political ads in the latest change from new CEO Elon Musk.
The news came Tuesday evening in a pair of tweets from the company’s Twitter Safety account.
“We believe that cause-based advertising can facilitate public conversation around important topics. Today, we’re relaxing our ads policy for cause-based ads in the US. We also plan to expand the political advertising we permit in the coming weeks,” the account shared.
“Moving forward, we will align our advertising policy with that of TV and other media outlets,” the company tweeted. “As with all policy changes, we will first ensure that our approach to reviewing and approving content protects people on Twitter. We’ll share more details as this work progresses.”
Moving forward, we will align our advertising policy with that of TV and other media outlets. As with all policy changes, we will first ensure that our approach to reviewing and approving content protects people on Twitter. We’ll share more details as this work progresses.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 3, 2023
Twitter banned political ads in 2019 over misinformation concerns under then-CEO Jack Dorsey.
The announcement follows controversy as the social media platform has lost many of its top advertisers under Musk. According to Politico, 90% of Twitter’s revenue came from advertising before Musk’s takeover. Under his leadership, the company has launched an $8 monthly Twitter Blue subscription service and has cut costs by reducing large numbers of staff and downsizing office space.
The latest change could soon open up a new source of revenue, especially as the 2024 presidential election approaches.
In 2018, Twitter’s political advertising brought in less than $3 million. Musk is likely expecting to cash in on some of the political spending often focused on television and other media forms during the upcoming election cycle.
Twitter could also tap into the political advertising dollars spent on other tech platforms. Facebook and YouTube continue to allow political ads, though TikTok does not.
In addition to political ads, the changes could also impact “issue-based” ads that address social issues or causes, offering new opportunities for both cause-oriented marketers and Twitter.
Musk previously reinstated the Twitter account of former President Donald Trump, who had been banned since January 2021. The action followed a Twitter poll Musk posted that ended with 51.8% of users agreeing Trump’s account should be reinstated.
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
Trump so far has not returned to Twitter, instead choosing to focus on his own Truth Social platform.
“I don’t see any reason for it,” the former president said in November.
A month earlier, Trump also said he planned to remain on his own platform.
“I am staying on Truth. I like it better, I like the way it works, I like Elon, but I’m staying on Truth,” Trump said. “If I choose to run, I will only use Truth.”
Trump’s Twitter account had 88 million followers before he was banned in 2021.