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. The latest evidence that Musk is running out ideas for how Twitter can be profitable was this.
“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. Based on the viewing count, 53,000 people had seen the advertisement. There were 2,550 likes by the time this article was written. 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. It remains to be determined if advertisers will return to Twitter regularly.
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. According to Reuters, Nick Fuentes was banned from the platform as a white supremacist. 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 initially claimed the shooting was a hoax but changed his mind after being sued by the families who survived.
Other controversial accounts have been reinstated and are still being tweeted, such as Roger Stone’s former adviser to Donald Trump and Trump himself. Trump has not tweeted in the time since his account was reactivated. 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.
Only time will show if Musk is able to make Twitter the money-making machine he envisions. Musk has announced a deal to share ad revenue with creators. However, details are scarce about this program. The one requirement for users to get paid: They must subscribe to Twitter Blue, Musk’s $8 per month subscription plan. Only 140,000 users have so far subscribed, according to statistics from the New York Times. Needless to say, Musk isn’t making very much if that number is to be believed.