News & Views
Twitter is an ad elitist

While the vast majority of Twitter users have found their timelines filled with more and more promoted content in recent months, there are some for whom the platform is an entirely ad-free experience. The catch? You have to be kind of a big deal.


While Twitter’s mission is ostensibly to attract new users, CEO Jack Dorsey has reportedly OK’d a zero ad policy for high-profile tweeters. This doesn’t necessarily mean just celebrity accounts; any account with an exceptional tweet volume and reach is eligible.

A handful of Twitter VIPs have recently abandoned their accounts, leading Katie Glass to speculate that “Twitter has lost its glitter” due to harassment. This ad-free approach may well be Twitter’s way of trying to hold on to its most influential users.

“Twitter can afford to turn off ads for a small group of users,” says Recode’s Peter Kafka, who himself appears to be part of the ad-free crowd. “Twitter is likely to have generated $2.2 billion in revenue in 2015, almost all of it from ads. Then again, if Twitter thinks the best way to get people to use Twitter is not show them any ads, then maybe it ought to consider an ad-free option, supported by subscriptions.”

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