Elon Musk Says Apple Is Twitter's Biggest Advertiser

After a series of brands stopped advertising on the platform post-Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter, some of its biggest customers, like Amazon and Apple, are reportedly back to ads — or never left.

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By Gabrielle Bienasz • Dec 5, 2022

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Elon Musk, current CEO of Twitter.

Elon Musk's Apple fight appears to be over — and after a vocal exodus from advertisers on the platform, major clients are reportedly already back.

The eccentric billionaire and multi-CEO claimed Saturday that Apple had "fully resumed" advertising on Twitter, and there were reports over the weekend that, while Amazon had not completely paused ads, it planned to move forward with a purchase of a large tranche of Twitter ads.

Advertisers and brands, including Chipotle and United, said they were going to stop advertising Twitter after Elon Musk's purchase of the platform was finalized in late October.

Upon his purchase, researchers found a spike in hate speech — one that has been reported again, a little over a month after he bought the platform. Musk also laid off half of Twitter's staff, including content moderators, leading some to worry the platform would become a poor place for brand image.

Musk, who has made dark comments about Twitter's financials, also promised brands the platform would not become a "free-for-all hellscape."

Related: 'I Did It To Try To Help Humanity': Elon Musk Pens Open Letter About Twitter Deal, Says Failure Is A 'Very Real Possibility

Per Twitter's financial disclosures while it was still a public company, about 90% of its revenue comes from advertising.

Leading up to buying Twitter, Musk mused about various alternative revenue models, from monetizing Tweets to charging governments or companies to Tweet. Almost immediately after becoming the new CEO and new owner, Musk unleashed a confusing rollout of a pay-for-verification scheme that caused widespread chaos on the platform.

One person created a verified Pepsi account and Tweeted "coke is better." Another person made and obtained a verification check mark for an account supposedly from drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company.

"We are excited to announce insulin is free now," the account Tweeted. The company's stock then dropped 4% in a 24-hour time frame. (Sean Morrow, who is a writer at labor outlet More Perfect Union claimed responsibility for the incident.)

Eli Lilly's actual account was forced to disavow and apologize for the Tweet, which reportedly sparked panic at the company. It also drove a fresh round of criticism over the price of insulin, which research has shown costs anywhere from five to ten times more in the U.S. than in other countries.

Related: Eli Lilly Stock Plummets After Parody Twitter Account Says Insulin is Now Free

The chaos eventually led to Musk putting the program on hold.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Musk and the company have been making overtures to advertisers with an offer of a spending match — "$500,000 in incremental spending" with a cap of $1 million.

Musk had previously claimed Apple had threatened to pull Twitter off the App Store and then later followed up, saying he had spoken with Apple CEO Tim Cook and that the issue had been a "misunderstanding."

On Saturday, in a Twitter Spaces, which is Twitter's Clubhouse-like audio platform, Musk said in a two-hour-plus event that Apple, had begun advertising on Twitter again, further reducing public tension between the two companies, Bloomberg reported.

He also said Apple was the platform's most significant advertiser.

Reporter Zoë Schiffer of Platformer, who has been covering Twitter closely, Tweeted Saturday that Amazon planned to purchase a $100 million package for advertising on Twitter "pending some security tweaks to the company's ads platform."

She followed up, saying that the company "continued advertising on Twitter throughout the recent turmoil, although some campaigns were paused."

Reuters also reported Saturday, citing "a source familiar with the matter," Amazon never quite stopped advertising on Twitter.

Entrepreneur noticed an ad from Apple on the platform on Sunday, but it's unclear when it was purchased or deployed. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

A Apple ad on Twitter with a timestamp of Sunday afternoon.

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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