Microsoft has announced that it will be dropping Twitter from its advertising platform next week, just two months after Twitter announced its new pricing scheme. The new pricing structure charges a minimum of $42,000 per month to users of its API, which includes enterprises and research institutions.
Microsoft’s decision comes as a surprise, as the company has the financial resources to pay Twitter’s fees. However, the move could be a statement by Microsoft, although the company has declined to comment further.
Starting on April 25, 2023, Smart Campaigns with Multi-platform will no longer support Twitter. Digital Marketing Center (DMC) will also no longer support Twitter from the same date. This means that users will no longer be able to access their Twitter account, or create, schedule or manage tweets through Microsoft’s free social media management service. However, companies that use Microsoft Advertising will still be able to manage and create content for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn through the platform.
Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, finds the move galling and has threatened legal action. He alleges that Microsoft’s licensing arrangement with OpenAI, which trained its powerful AI models on a “vast corpus of diverse text data from the internet,” included illegally using Twitter data. There has been animosity between Microsoft and Twitter, as Microsoft has invested many billions of dollars into OpenAI, which Musk co-founded in 2015 but left several years later. Musk has periodically bashed the company since leaving and recently announced that he was planning a rival initiative.
The move by Microsoft comes at a lousy time for Musk, who has been actively working to win over advertisers after reportedly losing more than half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers following his takeover of the platform in late October. It remains to be seen whether Musk will follow through on his threat of legal action or if Microsoft will offer an explanation for its decision to drop Twitter.