Last Thursday, several Twitter influencers posted that they’d received large payouts as part of the platform’s new creator ad revenue share program.
As explained in a blog post, the platform would share ad revenue with creators who are subscribed to Blue, have at least three million impressions on posts in each of the last three months and pass a “human review” for the platform’s creator monetization standards — which mostly chalk up to meeting age, location, activity and posting guidelines. Applications have yet to open.
On Friday, Elon Musk tweeted that payouts are dependent on how many ads are shown to other verified users in the replies of a creator’s post.
But recent reports have thrown Twitter’s payout methods into question. According to a Media Matters for America post, some of the biggest and earliest beneficiaries of the ad revenue share program are far-right influencers.
Nine influencers, including Andrew Tate, Ian Miles Cheong and an account called End Wokeness have collectively earned over $80,000 in cumulative pay beginning in February, when Musk first announced the program.
Not every payout has gone to notably conservative figures, however. Billy Markus, creator of Dogecoin, has boasted one of the largest payouts at over $37,000. Mr. Beast has also reportedly received around $25,000.
Apart from influencers, many payouts have gone to journalists and political pundits, many of whom are conservative or independent, including tech journalists Brian and Ed Krassenstein, Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson, Babylon Bee’s Ashley St. Clair and White House reporter Simon Ateba.
Next generation of journalists should be able to make a living doing it on Twitter. After many years, great to see it becoming possible… https://t.co/EoTbj0K0Ut— Keith Coleman (@kcoleman) July 13, 2023
Most creators who have posted about Twitter payouts are apolitical or centrist, or range across the conservative spectrum.
Several conservative influencers have complained that they haven’t received payouts despite meeting all of the criteria, accusing Twitter of not equally applying its terms of service, the Washington Post reported.
The publication also interviewed former Twitter staffers, who said past monetization efforts have been based on revenue but that now “it really feels like [Twitter is] arbitrarily writing checks to people they like.”
Others have noted that Twitter’s decision to base payouts on verified user ad views contradicts Blue subscribers seeing 50% fewer ads than users who aren’t subscribed.
Despite being an unqualified garbage person, the esteemed Mr. Turd2 is an endless source of amusement to me, given that he constantly complains about being treated unfairly by Elon's twitter DESPITE BEING ARTIFICIALLY ALGORITHMICALLY BOOSTED.https://t.co/Cd6Zg7ujRL— Damion Schubert - @ZenOfDesign.com on bsky (@ZenOfDesign) July 16, 2023
On Saturday, Musk tweeted that Twitter is still operating with a negative cash flow, largely due to a roughly 50% drop in ad revenue.
Advertisers cut spending on the platform 59% year over year in the first week of April, according to an internal document obtained by the New York Times.
A creator monetization program that favors far-right figures is unlikely to bring ad dollars back, as media buyers have previously told Campaign US that they need to see Twitter steer away from a “slide toward red-pilled trollism” in order to return.
Twitter replied to a request for comment with its automatic poop emoji response.
Twitter’s top 5 advertisers in June were Mondelez International, The Wall Street Journal, HBO, Apple and FinanceBuzz.io, which collectively spent nearly $17 million on Twitter ads, according to Sensor Tower.