Microsoft has announced that it will drop Twitter from its advertising platform next week, in response to Twitter's new pricing scheme that requires a minimum of $42,000 per month to access its API. This move will affect Microsoft's Smart Campaigns with Multi-platform and Digital Marketing Center (DMC), meaning that users will no longer be able to access their Twitter accounts, or create, schedule or manage tweets through Microsoft's free social media management service.
While Microsoft certainly has the financial means to pay Twitter what it wants, the decision to drop Twitter appears to be a statement in response to the new pricing scheme. Although Microsoft has not provided any further explanation for its decision, the move may reflect frustration with Twitter's pricing policy, which Wired reported earlier this year "prices out nearly everyone."
The decision has reportedly irked Twitter owner Elon Musk, who has threatened legal action, claiming that Microsoft illegally trained its AI models on Twitter data. Musk has a long-standing animosity towards Microsoft, which has invested billions into OpenAI, a company Musk co-founded in 2015 and subsequently left. He has since bashed the company on social media and recently announced plans for a rival AI initiative.
For Musk, the decision to drop Twitter from Microsoft's advertising platform comes at a particularly bad time. The Tesla CEO has been actively working to win over advertisers after reportedly losing over half of Twitter's top 1,000 advertisers following his takeover of the platform in October last year. During an interview in Miami with the chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, Musk indicated that he was open to hearing legitimate concerns that advertisers might have about Twitter, but emphasized that he would not make changes he does not believe in.
While it remains to be seen whether Musk will follow through on his threat of legal action, the move by Microsoft highlights the growing tension between social media platforms and technology companies that rely on their data to develop AI models and other services. As these companies seek to monetize their data, it is likely that more conflicts will arise in the future, with the potential for legal disputes and regulatory action.