Ad exodus: Elon Musk's antisemitic remarks shake X

Concerns over the proliferation of antisemitic content and discussions on the social media platform X have intensified, reaching a critical point with advertisers like Apple Inc. pulling out their ads. Musk, who actively interacts with antisemitic users on X, endorsed a post asserting that Jewish people have a "dialectical hatred" of white individuals, to which he responded, "You have said the actual truth."The White House termed Musk's response as "unacceptable," emphasizing its potential threat to Jewish communities. Shareholders of Tesla Inc., where Musk serves as CEO, have also voiced concerns, with some calling for his suspension.The controversy follows a report from Media Matters revealing advertisements from major companies, including IBM, Oracle, Apple, Bravo and Comcast's Xfinity, appearing alongside pro-Nazi content on X. IBM was quick to suspend ads on the platform until the situation is addressed.In response to the backlash, the European Commission, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Paramount Global, Walt Disney Co., and Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. have all announced the withdrawal of their ads from X. The Anti-Defamation League reported a surge in antisemitism on X, increasing by over 900% in the week following the October 7 attack by Hamas.Musk has courted controversies in the past, including a satirical tweet comparing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler. Some stakeholders, like Ross Gerber of Gerber Kawasaki Inc., have expressed concern that Musk's actions are detrimental to the brand and overall reputation of his companies.Apple, a major advertiser on X, announced a pause in showing ads on X, reflecting the precarious nature of their relationship with Musk, who took over the platform last year. Musk's remarks coincide with a global rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.In the midst of this, Musk accused the Anti-Defamation League of undermining X's ad revenue by highlighting extremist content, contributing to a 60% decline in ad sales on the platform. The EC cited an alarming increase in disinformation and hate speech as a reason for staff to stop advertising on X.Despite X's efforts to address offensive content and label sensitive media, the controversy has triggered widespread concerns about the impact of Musk's statements on the brands associated with the platform. Shareholders and advocacy groups are calling for a response, ranging from censure to potential removal of Musk from his positions.

X to launch two new premium subscriptions

Elon Musk has announced that two new tiers of X Premium, earlier known as Twitter, subscriptions will be commencing soon. This announcement was made by the X owner via a tweet on the platform. The two tiers will be differentiated by advertisements. One of the options will cost less but will not have a reduction in ads, while the other will be more expensive and will block all ads. The exact costs of each tier are yet to be confirmed.This announcement comes as no surprise, since Musk has already started charging a few countries for basic access. This can be due to the fact that the ad revenue of X had fallen by 59%, and the company has been eagerly exploring new ways to generate revenue. Earlier this week, the company started charging new users $1 in New Zealand and the Philippines. Users who don’t opt to subscribe and wish to use it for free will only be able to read the content. Non-subscribers will not be able to interact with the tweets or write their own. They will only be able to watch and read content and follow users.The platform has been in the news and gone through its ups and downs since Musk’s takeover last year in October.X is not the only platform that’s shifting to different paid models, with most players now moving from a growth-based strategy to a more profitable strategy.Earlier in the year, Meta also rolled out a subscription model for its blue ticks on its platforms. Netflix also indicated a hike in prices for its ad-free model and opted to create a free advertising-based video-on-demand model for its users.

Trademark Dispute Erupts as X Corp Faces Lawsuit from X Social Media

X Corp, formerly known as Twitter, is facing a federal lawsuit in Florida from X Social Media, a legal-marketing company, which alleges that the social media giant's new name infringes upon its trademark incorporating the letter "X."X Social Media's lawsuit claims that the rebranding of X Corp to X by owner Elon Musk in July is likely to create consumer confusion. This legal action marks the initial in what could become a series of trademark disputes involving Musk's company and the letter "X," which is frequently used in tech branding.The letter "X" is part of hundreds of federal trademarks owned by various companies, including Microsoft and Meta Platforms. X Corp recently applied for its own US trademarks related to the letter.X Corp has not yet responded to the complaint, while X Social Media has chosen not to comment on the matter.X Social Media, based in Windermere, Florida, specializes in mass-tort litigation advertising. Established in 2015 by Jacob and Roseanna Malherbe, the agency aimed to connect Florida panhandle residents with attorneys following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The agency has been using the name "X Social Media" since 2016 and holds a federal trademark for it. According to the lawsuit, the company has invested over $400 million in Facebook advertising to reach potential clients.The legal action alleges that Twitter's rebranding has already led to customer confusion and a decline in revenue for X Social Media. It seeks a court order to compel Musk's company to cease using the "X" name and requests unspecified monetary damages.

Elon Musk's X introduces 'XHiring' feature for simplified recruitment

XHiring, the groundbreaking addition by X, a social media firm owned by Elon Musk, has been unveiled. Formerly known as Twitter, the platform now allows Verified Organizations to directly post job openings through their dedicated handles, marking a significant advancement.In a strategic move to compete with professional platforms like LinkedIn, X has entered the realm of professional networking by launching a beta version of this recruitment feature.In response to a tweet by a user named Ian Zelbo, who expressed dissatisfaction with LinkedIn, Elon Musk responded on X, stating, "At times, people send me LinkedIn links, but the level of awkwardness is so high that I can't bring myself to use it. I prefer requesting resumes or bios via email. We're dedicated to ensuring that X's LinkedIn competitor radiates a cool atmosphere."Meanwhile, back in May, Elon Musk subtly hinted at the upcoming launch of the job-hiring feature. Responding to a user's suggestion that Twitter should offer dating services, Musk pondered, "Interesting idea, maybe jobs as well." This aligns with Musk's vision of transforming the platform into an all-encompassing app, as he previously expressed.

Twitter to develop video app for smart TVs

Twitter has announced its latest endeavour to revolutionize user engagement through the development of a state-of-the-art video application for smart TVs. This innovative initiative, confirmed by Elon Musk, reinforces the company's commitment to advancing its video content strategy.In a tweet, Elon Musk officially confirmed Twitter's ongoing efforts to introduce a dedicated video application for smart TVs. This strategic move aligns seamlessly with the platform's overarching objective of prioritizing the expansion of video content to cater to the evolving preferences and demands of its diverse user base.During an investor presentation held on Thursday, the newly appointed CEO of Twitter, Linda Yaccarino, along with Elon Musk, unveiled a comprehensive roadmap outlining Twitter's future plans. With an unwavering focus on video content, creator collaborations, and commerce partnerships, the company aims to revitalize its business model beyond digital advertising, as reported by Reuters. The introduction of the video application for smart TVs represents a significant milestone in this transformative journey.Twitter's forthcoming video app for smart TVs serves as a testament to the platform's unwavering dedication to video content. In recent years, Twitter has made substantial strides in enhancing the user experience by embracing the potential of video. This new application will empower users to seamlessly access a wide array of captivating video content directly from their smart TVs, unlocking a whole new level of engagement and entertainment.As the digital landscape continues to evolve, Twitter remains committed to driving innovation and delivering remarkable experiences to its users. The video application for smart TVs signifies the platform's progressive vision and determination to stay at the forefront of technological advancements in the social media space.

Analysts dispute Elon Musk's claim about Tesla becoming bigger than Apple

Wall Street analysts have disputed Elon Musk's claim about Tesla Inc. becoming bigger than the combined valuation of Apple Inc. and Saudi Aramco one day, Bloomberg reported today.According to the Bloomberg article, the electric-vehicle maker reported lackluster third-quarter results on Wednesday, with revenue and margins missing estimates even as profit beat. This is the first time the company missed revenue estimates since the third quarter of 2021, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Chief Executive Officer Musk also said demand was a “little harder than it would otherwise be,” due to downturns in China and Europe.The results and the cautious stance on demand prompted multiple analysts to lower their price target on the company on Thursday. The average price target on the company stands at US$293, according to Bloomberg data, over 40 percent higher than the stock’s Thursday close. Tesla shares closed down 6.7 percent at US$207.28.“We remain cautious on valuation, particularly in the context of lofty unit volume growth expectations, and continue to see material downside risk to our December 2023 price target,” JPMorgan analyst Ryan Brinkman wrote in a note.Tesla, which was briefly a part of the trillion-dollar valuation group, currently has a market capitalisation of about US$650 billion. Apple has a US$2.3 trillion value, while Saudi Aramco’s stands at roughly US$2.1 trillion.As the US consumer gets squeezed between high inflation and rapidly rising interest rates, investors are keeping an eye on demand for discretionary items and big-ticket purchases like a car this earnings season. After Tesla earlier this month reported third-quarter deliveries below expectations, analysts and investors have been watching for any signs of cracks in demand.Risks to demand is an especially fraught concern for Tesla because of its rich valuation that is heavily dependent on the company’s future growth potential. Tesla’s stock trades at 49 times its forward earnings, compared to the S&P 500 Index’s 18 times.“Tesla stock is predicated on a growth-valuation framework, for which access to low-cost capital is a key input,” BofA analyst John Murphy wrote in a note to clients, adding that the shares may already be priced fairly, especially considering market volatility.Still, while valuation may be held back in the near term because of global economic turmoil, ongoing supply-chain and logistical problems, and high raw material prices, analysts largely maintained their longer-term bullish outlook for Tesla.“While Tesla is not insulated from a downturn, we believe its growth and margins could be much more resilient than the rest of the industry in a recession globally,” Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner said, even as he lowered the price target on the stock to US$355 from US$390.