After bidding goodbye to political advertisements once and for all, social media platform Twitter is now reportedly prepping up to personally communicate the decision to political leaders and parties to keep the relationship intact.
With this decision, Twitter reportedly wants to make sure that none of the political parties and leaders “abandon” the platform for not advertising them.
Will Ad Ban Affect Twitter’s Revenue?
In a country where an election season is an event, social media platforms play a vital role in influencing people. Not only this, the Indian public consume a lot of news on politics on these platforms.
According to Google’s Political Advertising Transparency Report, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the top spender among political advertisers on Google platforms. The party has spent over to INR 12.1 Cr since February 2019. Tamil Nadu’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) stands second with INR 4 Cr. Surprisingly, the main opposition party, the Indian National Congress (INC), is the third biggest spender with INR 3 Cr.
Despite the rise in the use of social media for the electoral campaigns, Twitter India does not generate much revenue through political campaigns, even though political parties and leaders have a large following on the platform, Moneycontrol reported, citing sources.
Another source claimed that Twitter earns approximately $40 Mn annually from digital ads, out of which only 2% comes from political ads.
However, the question now remains is: Will the ban come as a hard blow to the political parties and even social media platforms?
Why The Ban?
The official ban on all political campaigns was announced by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in a tweet on October 31 (IST). The company will be sharing if the final policy by November 15 and the ban would come into effect by November 22.
Dorsey assured that even though most political ads are banned, but there are “a few exceptions” like voter registration ads.
This development comes after Facebook has been mounted by criticism from all across for their political advertisements for not fact-check ads run by politicians. The biggest impact of it currently being seen in the US, where political parties, groups and even Facebook users have accused the company of influencing political opinion.
Similar accusations were raised during the US Presidential Elections in 2016. According to a report released by the US Senate, Russia used social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to manipulate the voters to vote in favour of the current President Donald Trump. Facebook and Twitter had also provided insight into this report.