Elon Musk Resorts To Asking Users To ‘Like’ Competing Electric Car Ad On Twitter
Elon Musk, the CEO of Twitter who’s reportedly struggling with engagement on his social media platform, personally asked Twitter users to like a car ad for Hyundai on Friday. It was the latest sign that Musk may be out of ideas on how to make Twitter profitable.
“Press the heart,” Musk tweeted to his followers on Friday about the car ad.
The ad, which features actor Kevin Bacon and his daughter Sosie Bacon, is for the Hyundai Ioniq 6 electric car, which is a direct competitor of Musk’s own electric vehicle company Tesla.
“Sosie Bacon grows concerned as @kevinbacon has his dad-mind blown over the all-electric Hyundai #IONIQ6,” the tweet, which also includes a video, reads.
Hundreds of Musk’s nearly 129 million followers dutifully pressed the heart button, with some even recording videos of themselves doing it, but the ad’s engagement was still miniscule relative to Musk’s reach. The ad had been viewed just 53,000 times, according to the view count on the platform, with just 2,550 likes at the time of this writing. Oddly enough, Musk’s tweet to “press the heart” currently has more likes (3,077) than the ad he was trying to promote.
Musk is likely getting nervous about the lead up to Sunday’s Super Bowl game, if only because large national and international events can challenge Twitter’s servers at the best of times. But a recent outage reportedly pushed Musk to ask for no new rollout changes until after the big game—an effort to make sure the social media platform can sustain a large influx of traffic.
Many auto companies halted advertising on Twitter after Musk’s takeover, not just because Musk owns Tesla, but because many brands grew concerned about the extremist accounts that were being allowed back on the platform. And it remains to be seen whether advertisers are truly comfortable coming back to Twitter in large numbers.
Despite Musk’s earlier claims of being a “free speech absolutist,” the billionaire has shut down accounts with anti-Semitic content, including from his friend Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist, was banned from the platform just a day after getting his account restored last month, according to Reuters. Fuentes was spewing anti-Semitic garbage like he always does, though it’s not clear what Musk was expecting when he allowed such accounts to come back.
Musk has also insisted he’ll never let conspiracy theory host Alex Jones back on the platform over the InfoWars’ peddler’s previous lies about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, where 20 children and six adults were slaughtered. Jones had said the shooting was a hoax, though revised his opinion after he was sued by surviving families for defamation.
However, there are other controversial accounts that have been restored and continue to tweet, including former advisor to President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, and the president himself. However, Trump has not personally tweeted since his account was restored. Trump reportedly has an exclusive deal with his own social media platform, Truth Social, and it’s not clear that he’s even allowed to tweet yet if he wanted to.
But only time will tell whether Musk can make Twitter into the cash cow he hopes it could be. Musk announced an ad revenue sharing deal with creators, though details about the program have been scarce. The one requirement for users to get paid: They must subscribe to Twitter Blue, Musk’s $8 per month subscription plan. Just 140,000 people have subscribed to the plan so far, according to figures from the New York Times. Needless to say, Musk isn’t making very much if that number is to be believed.