Twitter revenue plunged in December as advertisers stayed away after Elon Musk's takeover, report says

Twitter revenue plunged in December as advertisers stayed away after Elon Musk's takeover, report says
Elon Musk has been trying to boost Twitter's faltering revenues.Getty Images
  • Twitter revenues fell about 40% in December versus the same month in 2021, per Wall Street Journal.
  • The slide came after many advertisers slashed spending following Elon Musk's takeover last October.

Twitter's revenues plunged in December after advertisers avoided the social media platform in the wake of Elon Musk's controversial takeover, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Unnamed sources said the company reported a 40% decline in both total revenue and adjusted profits compared with December 2021.

That came after half of Twitter's top 100 advertisers pulled out in the first month after Musk's controversial takeover, per Media Matters. More than two thirds of Twitter's top 100 advertisers before the acquisition had not returned by late February, according to Pathmatics, The Journal reported.

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Twitter has tried to lure advertisers back by taking steps including lifting its three-year ban on political advertising.

Some big names including Apple and Amazon have returned to the platform, but they're again under threat due to Twitter's controversial cost-cutting strategies.


Twitter has not made payments to certain suppliers, some of which are also the platform's biggest advertisers, The Information reported. Staff were recently told that Amazon had threatened to withhold payment for its ads because Twitter had not paid its Amazon Web Services bill for several months, per the report.

Twitter's financial challenges go beyond advertisers. It also made its first interest payment on the $13 billion loan that helped fund Musk's $44 billion takeover last October, per The Journal. Annual interest payments are expected to exceed $1 billion on loans that have rates as high as 15%.

Faced with faltering advertising spend, Musk has tried to bolster revenues by promoting Twitter Blue, its paid subscription product, and monetize a number of features.

Twitter Blue, introduced last November, allows users to pay between $8 and $11 a month for the blue checkmarks that were previously reserved for high-profile figures. In its latest push for subscriptions, Twitter said it was restricting the use of text messages for two-factor authentication to paying subscribers.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider made outside normal working hours.