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Reduce Costs on X Ads by Positioning Them Beside Spam

Under CEO Linda Yaccarino, X is tempting advertisers with lower-cost ad slots adjacent to less-curated content. A strategic move or a desperate bid for attention?

X's 'Relaxed' Ad Settings: A Cheaper Advertising Gamble?

Since its acquisition by Elon Musk, X claims a decade of impressive innovation in curating an engaging user environment. But its recent strategy shift in advertising paints a slightly different picture.

It's no secret that brand safety is crucial in today's digital advertising landscape. And when it comes to X, the platform's commitment to brand safety has been in question, especially post its acquisition by Elon Musk. With an exodus of advertisers, X, under its new CEO, advertising maven Linda Yaccarino, is taking an unorthodox route to lure them back.

The move? X is broadening its ties with Integral Ad Science (IAS) to allow advertisers a say in where their ads are placed concerning the content. Through machine learning-driven sensitivity settings, brands can now select the content environments that they deem fit for their advertisements. And if Elon Musk's recent tweet is anything to go by, these ads placed around "less desirable" or "relaxed" content come at a discounted price.

In Musk's words, Tesla and SpaceX aren't overly concerned about the nature of the adjacent content, and they benefit from the more affordable ad inventory.

In its strictest sensitivity setting, X promises reduced adjacency to unsavory content like hate speech, drugs, spam, and more. Yet, its AI tools have repeatedly shown inefficiency in accurately filtering out spam. X's future plans include rolling out a 'relaxed' setting, which is more lenient, only filtering out explicit sexual content and targeted hate speech, but at a more appealing price point for advertisers.

The strategy seems to be grounded in the principles of supply and demand. If there's an excess of ad slots but a shortage of advertisers willing to pay premium prices, the solution, in X's view, is to reduce the cost and, by extension, the content quality.

However, the real question remains: Is this approach a savvy business move or a telltale sign of a platform in distress? Only time will tell.