- Twitter faces a $250 million fine for misusing users’ personal data for ad targeting.
- A fine will serve as another blow after its Q2’s decline in ad revenues and pressure from outside forces.
- Insider Intelligence analyzes this industry and several others to provide in-depth analyst reports, proprietary forecasts, customizable charts, and more. Learn more about what we offer.
On Monday, Twitter confirmed it was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for potentially misusing people’s personal information for ad targeting and said it expects to be fined up to $250 million.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Investigations began last October after the FTC discovered that email addresses and phone numbers provided for safety and security reasons may have been linked to Twitter’s ad targeting system. The company had disclosed that this happened in October and said the practice had ended the month before, but now it seems to be facing legal repercussions for that misstep.
A fine will serve as another blow to a company struggling with declining ad revenues and pressure from outside forces. In February, activist investment firm Elliott Management acquired a major stake in Twitter to push the company toward a more aggressive advertising and monetization strategy, while also seeking the removal of CEO Jack Dorsey.
In response, Twitter committed to gaining share in the digital ad market as well as increasing its monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) by 20%, but negotiated for Dorsey to stay on. The potential FTC fine will likely add to this existing financial pressure, especially after more recent bad news about Twitter’s worldwide ad revenues. They fell 23% year over year to $562 million, despite the number of mDAUs rising 34%, according to last week’s Q2 earnings.
As Twitter looks for ways to buttress its ad business, one potential revenue source is the return of sports and other live events. Live events have historically led to surges in activity on Twitter, creating opportunities for advertisers to reach an engaged audience. As sports begin their slow return, Twitter is once again seeing heightened activity.
The UFC saw a 272% increase in related tweets month over month in June; Nascar saw a 254% rise; and the National Women’s Soccer League saw a 244% rise, according to a recent blog post. Similar figures can be expected for the NBA, NFL and MLB later this month. Twitter will likely be exploring new ways to monetize this activity and create new related-advertising products for interested brands.
Want to read more stories like this one? Here’s how you can gain access:
- Join other Insider Intelligence clients who receive this Briefing, along with other Media, Advertising, & Marketing forecasts, briefings, charts, and research reports to their inboxes each day. >> Become a Client
- Explore related topics more in depth. >> Browse Our Coverage
Are you a current Insider Intelligence client? Log in here.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe