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Elon Musk-Twitter Deal Raises Hopes Among Ad Industry, Advertisers Keen to Extract Better Deals

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Elon Musk’s $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,37,465 crore) deal to take Twitter private could mark the end of the social media platform’s advertising business, many in the ad industry have worried.

But in the weeks since April 25 when the Tesla chief executive announced the deal, Madison Avenue’s attitude to Musk’s upcoming version of Twitter is evolving. Optimism is taking hold and is playing out in two ways.

Some ad buyers are hoping to extract better deals from a company undergoing a massive transition. Others are betting that Musk, who has dribbled new product ideas daily on Twitter, can deliver what Twitter has fallen short on – launch new products more quickly, according to advertising executives who spoke with Reuters.

The belief is that Musk’s push for faster product development will attract more new users who will become the foundation for a better marketing environment.

The view is a shift from the ad industry’s dim outlook after Musk appeared to dump cold water on Twitter’s $5 billion (roughly Rs.38,591 crore) ad business, tweeting that the company should be a forum for free speech and questioning the platform’s reliance on ads for revenue.

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According to slides Musk presented to investors, he expects Twitter to reach 931 million users by 2028 from 229 million in the most recent quarter, and ad revenue to more than double to $12 billion (roughly Rs. 92,621 crore), representing about 45 percent of its total revenue in the same time frame, the New York Times reported.

Despite Musk’s repeated statements on minimizing content censorship on the platform, he appeared in a video on Monday with European Union industry chief Thierry Breton to discuss the upcoming Digital Services Act, which will require platforms to curb illegal content. Musk said he “was very much of the same mind” and agreed with “everything [Breton] said.”

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In the short term, some ad agencies are already advising clients to take a fresh look at doing business with Twitter.

One ad agency executive who declined to be named said they expected negotiations to begin in the coming months to strike lower ad prices on behalf of some clients, as Twitter may be more flexible during the period of uncertainty before Musk closes his takeover deal.

Code3, an agency that has worked with brands like Chipotle, Dior and Gap, will advise some clients to consider increasing their investment on Twitter in the near term to take advantage of the buzz that Musk has helped generate on the platform, said Lizzy Glazer, vice president of connections planning at Code3.

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On Tuesday, Musk said during a Financial Times conference that he would reverse Twitter’s permanent suspension on former US President Donald Trump.

Ad and marketing executives who spoke with Reuters said they are watching closely for changes Twitter could make to the platform, and most advertisers have not yet made significant shifts in spending, tamping down fears of abandoning Twitter.

Some experts forecast Twitter could actually become a more attractive environment for brands under Musk.

Musk could help jolt Twitter to be more competitive with new features and lead to bigger user growth, said Erica Patrick, director of paid social media at ad agency Mediahub Worldwide, which counts Netflix and Fox Sports among its clients.

“Twitter has always been fourth in line as a social platform,” she said. “(Musk) does innovate and he can think outside the box. If it’s a private company, there’s a lot they can do more quickly.”

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Even the expectation that Musk’s ownership could lead to looser rules on content will be an advantage for some marketers who aim to play off viral events, said Ishan Goel, founder of Goel Strategies, a marketing agency that has worked with brands like Hulu and Colgate.

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“As a marketer, you get the most viral moment when there’s disruption,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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What Are WhatsApp Polls and How Do You Use Them? All You Need to Know

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WhatsApp’s new features and updates which have rolled out over the past few months have made the messaging experience much better. Now, WhatsApp users can even create polls in personal and group chats to see what their friends and contacts think. Both iOS and Android users can use this feature. A poll could help take the opinions of group members on any topic or idea, or could be useful for making plans quickly. Just like your chats, the responses you send to a poll question will be protected by end-to-end encryption. At the moment, Telegram and Facebook Messenger allow group polls. You can easily start using this new WhatsApp feature on your smartphone.

Here is How to Create a WhatsApp Poll

Step 1: Update WhatsApp to the latest version

Step 2: Open the private or group chat in which you want to create a poll

Step 3: For Android, tap on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the screen. For iOS, select the plus (+) icon at the bottom of the screen.

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Step 4: Select ‘Poll’

Step 5: Type the question you want to ask, along with response options

Step 6: Finally, tap on ‘Send’ to share the poll

Up to twelve response options can be offered to recipients for each poll, and these are not time-bound. Users can also see the responses selected by others by tapping on ‘View votes’.

The Meta-owned messaging app has recently worked on several updates, rolling out new tools including the Call Link feature, the ability to message yourself, and Companion Mode. While some of these new features are not available to all users at the moment, WhatsApp does plan to make them accessible to everyone in the coming days. The most recent and talked-about feature apart from WhatsApp polls is Communities. These allow users to have separate groups under one “Community” to organize large conversations.

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“With Communities, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else. The alternatives available today require trusting apps or software companies with a copy of their messages – and we think they deserve the higher level of security provided by end-to-end encryption,” stated WhatsApp in a blog post.

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Elon Musk Calls Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban ‘Grave Mistake’, Condemns Violence

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Twitter’s ban on then President Donald Trump after January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters was a “grave mistake” that had to be corrected, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Friday, although he also stated that incitement to violence would continue to be prohibited on Twitter.

“I’m fine with Trump not tweeting. The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service,” Musk said in a tweet. “Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.”

Last week, Musk announced the reactivation of Trump’s account after a slim majority voted in a Twitter poll in favor of reinstating Trump, who said, however, that he had no interest in returning to Twitter. He added he would stick with his own social media site Truth Social, the app developed by Trump Media & Technology Group.

Republican Trump, who 10 days ago announced he was running for election again in 2024, was banned on January 8, 2021, from Twitter under its previous owners.

At the time, Twitter said it permanently suspended him because of the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the Capitol. The results of the November 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden were being certified by lawmakers when the Capitol was attacked after weeks of false claims by Trump that he had won.

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Trump repeatedly used Twitter and other sites to falsely claim there had been widespread voter fraud, and had urged supporters to march on the Capitol in Washington to protest.

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The attack is being investigated by US prosecutors and a congressional committee.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday on Musk’s statement that Trump did not violate any Twitter terms of service when his account was suspended.

Earlier on Friday, Musk tweeted that calling for violence or incitement to violence on Twitter would result in suspension, after saying on Thursday that Twitter would provide a “general amnesty” to suspended accounts that had not broken the law or engaged in spam.

Replying to a tweet, Musk said it was “very concerning” that Twitter had taken no action earlier to remove some accounts related to the far-left Antifa movement. In response to another tweet asking if Musk considered the statement “trans people deserve to die” as worthy of suspension from the platform, the billionaire said: “Absolutely”.

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Change and chaos have marked Musk’s first few weeks as Twitter’s owner. He has fired top managers and it was announced that senior officials in charge of security and privacy had quit.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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WhatsApp Reportedly Testing Voice Status Update for iOS Beta: All Details

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WhatsApp, the Meta-owned instant messaging app, is reportedly working on a feature that will let iOS users share voice notes in their status updates. As of now, the users can only share pictures, videos and links in their WhatsApp status. However, once the new feature will be rolled out, WhatsApp users on iOS will be reportedly able to share voice notes or voice clips as well in their status updates on the app. According to the report, the messaging platform is testing the feature on iOS Beta for an upcoming update.

According to a report by WhatsApp development tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp users on iOS will be able to share a voice note of up to 30 seconds alongside text in their status updates, similar to what they can currently do in a WhatsApp chat.

The report has also shared a screengrab of the same, hinting at the upcoming feature, which shows a microphone icon on the bottom of the text status.

WhatsApp on iOS users will be required to click on the microphone icon and record their voice to upload it as their status update. They can even add text to it, if needed. It is worth noting that the voice status updates will only be shared with the people selected in the privacy settings. Also, these voice notes will always be end-to-end encrypted.

Not only iOS, but this ability is said to be also being tested in WhatsApp beta for Android’s upcoming update. As of now, this feature is still under development, so it would be very early to say anything.

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Meanwhile, WhatsApp recently rolled out WhatsApp Polls to users on both Android and iOS. The Polls feature was introduced alongside ‘Communities’, a feature that allows users to have separate groups under one umbrella to organise group conversations. WhatsApp Polls lets users create polls within the group with the ability to vote. Facebook Messenger and Telegram currently allow users to add group polls. WhatsApp’s poll feature will be protected by end-to-end encryption.

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