Musk gave engineers one week to make Twitter’s ad targeting work like Google

Despite announcing an end to layoffs at a meeting held on November 21st, Elon Musk has continued to terminate Twitter employees, even after already forcing out approximately two-thirds of the workforce in just a few weeks.

What’s happening. Musk intends to revamp Twitter’s ad targeting system to resemble that of Google’s search ads, which primarily focus on keywords searched for rather than a user’s activity or profile data. Although this approach has proven successful for search engines, where users seek out specific information, it has yet to prove effective for social media businesses.

Set up for failure. Following his recent termination from his position as engineering manager for monetization at Twitter, Marcin Kadluczka suggested in a tweet on Saturday that the one-week deadline imposed by Elon Musk was impractical, stating that he believed it would take 2-3 months for Twitter to genuinely enhance its advertising capabilities. My sources have confirmed that Musk set this demanding timeline just before dismissing Kadluczka, as well as other employees in the ads, consumer, and sales departments last Friday.

Musk has been trying to improve Twitter ads since he acquired the company. While it’s uncertain whether altering Twitter’s ad targeting system to prioritize keywords, similar to Google ads, will result in better quality advertising, experts in the field have raised questions and identified potential drawbacks

Why we care. If the new targeting strategy fails to produce satisfactory results (which is the most likely scenario), advertisers could be wasting their advertising budgets on ineffective campaigns.

Additionally, any changes to Twitter’s advertising platform could have broader implications for the social media advertising industry as a whole, potentially leading to changes in advertising best practices across multiple platforms. The uncertainty and changes could cause the few advertisers still on Twitter could leave the platform.

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