Marketing Featured APAC

Twitter’s massive layoffs include comms, marketing teams in APAC

Singapore – The massive layoffs by social media giant Twitter has finally reached the Asia-Pacific region, affecting a large chunk of employees across various teams, including communications, marketing, engineering, and sales.

A report from The Straits Times notes that while the number of laid-off employees are unknown, it is understood that employees who were laid off receive said notice on their private emails, while those who have kept their jobs received an email on their corporate one.

Internal email from Twitter states that the lay-offs were part of “an effort to place Twitter on a healthy path.”

Cipluk Carlita, who served as the head of communications for Twitter in Southeast Asia, was one of the people who bore the shocking corporate decision by the social media platform.

“While this is not how I would’ve wanted my journey to end, Twitter will always have a special place in my heart. It’s not just a place to work, but also to learn something new every single day and create lifelong friendships. Twitter is not a place. It’s the people,” she said on her LinkedIn.

The massive Twitter layoffs follow days after billionaire Elon Musk completed the social media giant’s acquisition. It should be noted that key C-Suite executives from Twitter’s global team have been fired, including CEO Parag Agarwal.

Musk’s takeover of Twitter has also caused a massive wave of advertising exodus, with large brands such as Mondelez, General Motors, and Pfizer announcing they have halted advertising on Twitter. In addition, advertising giant Interpublic Group (IPG) has also advised its clients to halt Twitter advertising for the meantime.

Despite Musk trying to appease advertisers to stay and initial reports saying that Twitter has approached several fired employees to come back, Musk’s Twitter takeover has had a rocky start, with rocky issues including the introduction of paid verification status, as well as lessened restrictions on controversial and far-right content.

Marketing Featured Global

Elon Musk completes Twitter acquisition, starts off with exec firings

Singapore – Months after the initial desire from billionaire Elon Musk to acquire social media giant Twitter in April, the acquisition deal has been finally completed. However, as part of the early moments of the acquisition, Musk has been reportedly firing key executives of the Twitter board.

Reports from the BBC note that while there was no official investor relations announcement posted, an early investor for the company confirmed the deal has been done. In response to the acquisition, Musk posted several tweets to commemorate the deal, including a tweet saying ‘the bird is free’, and a video of him entering the Twitter headquarters–while jokingly bringing a kitchen sink and saying ‘let that sink in’.

Musk also tweeted out a statement directed at advertisers, saying that his motivation in acquiring Twitter was to have a ‘common digital town square’, where a wide variety of beliefs can be shared with one another without resorting to violence.

“There is currently great danger that social media will splinter into far right and far left wing echo chambers that generate more hate and divide in our society”, he said.

Despite the intentions, Musk’s Twitter takeover is marred with issues. Reuters reports that inside sources say that Musk has fired chief executive Parag Agrawal, chief financial officer Ned Segal and legal affairs and policy chief Vijaya Gadde. Agrawal and Segal, who were present at the closing deal, were later escorted out.

It should be recalled that Agrawal previously said that Musk won’t be joining the Twitter board following his desire to acquire the company.

The Musk-Twitter acquisition deal has been a long one in the making, with Musk previously backing out of the deal in July. In response, Twitter filed a lawsuit against Musk, with the latter finally accepting to acquire Twitter.

Platforms Featured Global

Twitter introduces new feature ‘Twitter Circle’

Singapore – Social media platform Twitter has announced a new feature called ‘Twitter Circle’, which allows users to send tweets to select people, and share their thoughts with a smaller crowd.

Twitter users can now choose who is in their Twitter Circle, and only the individuals they have added can reply to and interact with the Tweets one shares in the circle.

The feature was first tested to select users in May, and is currently rolled out to everyone on iOS, Android, and globally.

“With Twitter Circle, people now have the flexibility to choose who can see and engage with their content on a Tweet-by-Tweet basis. This makes it easier to have more intimate conversations and build closer connections with select followers,” Twitter said in a press statement.

Tweets sent to one’s circle will appear with a green badge underneath them. They can only be seen by those they have selected to be in your circle and cannot be Retweeted or shared. Additionally, all replies to circle Tweets are private, even if your Twitter account is public. 

“We want to ensure everyone on Twitter has the choice, control, tools, and transparency to join the conversation how and when they want, and Twitter Circle is another important step in that direction,” the company added.

Platforms Featured Global

Twitter announces integration of podcasts into platform

United States – Social media platform has announced the integration of podcasts into their platform via their existing Twitter Spaces feature. Twitter describes the move as ‘help[ing] people connect with unique and compelling voices around the world.’

This redesign introduces personalised hubs that group audio content together by specific themes like news, music, sports, among others. Twitter listeners will be able to easily access a more personalised selection of live and recorded Spaces discussing the topics that are most relevant to them.

“From [Twitter] Spaces and podcasts to newsletters and notes, we’re working every day to improve the way people connect with creators and make Twitter the home of the most engaging conversations in the world,” the company stated.

Twitter listeners can also give a podcast a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ to let the platform know if the content is more or less interesting to the listeners.

The new podcast integration will be visible to a group of global English-speaking audience on iOS and Android as of this writing.

Marketing Featured Global

Meltwater, Twitter launch fashion-centric report highlighting key fashion trends, discussion

Singapore – Media and social intelligence company Meltwater and social media platform Twitter have co-launched a report that highlights insights on how fashion is being discussed online, and how marketers and advertisers should care about in 2022 and beyond.

The report explores the conversation drivers around top-trending fashion topics on Twitter over the past year— including luxury fashion, meta fashion, handmade fashion, inclusive fashion, and retro fashion— as well as ways that brands can stay ahead when it comes to responding to these conversations.

According to the report, the past year has seen high-end fashion conversations flourish on Twitter, and have grown 16.7% between March 2021 and February 2022. With an average of 20,000 mentions per day, this category saw the largest increase in mentions compared to other verticals like athleisure, fast fashion, and street style.

In addition, conversations about meta fashion have increased more than 1,500% as the metaverse, VR, and AR have entered the wider cultural consciousness. Across 1 million conversations that reached more than 330 million Twitter users, meta fashion netizens focused on luxury and designer pieces like sneakers, particularly when involving well-known, high-end brands and celebrities.

Lastly, after widespread calls for more diversity in the fashion industry in 2020 and 2021, the conversation around inclusive fashion has grown 7% in the past 6 months — averaging 1,400 mentions a day. Our analysis found that about 77% of authors in this conversation are writers, editors, designers, creators, bloggers, and models. Together, they give voice to this customer base’s values: inclusivity and innovative style.

Meltwater’s VP of Partnerships and Product Marketing Johnny Vance, said, “The insights in The Fashion Industry’s New Era illustrate the value of social listening and analytics. Explore, Meltwater’s AI-powered social listening platform sifts through billions of data points each day and enables brands, marketers, and boardrooms to enhance decision making whilst ensuring their marketing strategies remain both forward-thinking and customer-centric.”

He added, “By leveraging this kind of market research, brands, teams, and organisations can improve their competitive positioning, ultimately enabling an agile marketing strategy addressing the real-time shifts in consumer behaviour.”

Meanwhile, Lauren Jenkins, head of the Twitter Official Partner Program, commented, “To create innovative and impactful marketing strategies, you must have a comprehensive understanding of your target audience. The Fashion Industry’s New Era report, developed in partnership with Meltwater, taps into the global fashion conversation on Twitter to identify meaningful insights and emerging trends within the industry. The insights shared within the report provide fashion marketers and advertisers with a solid foundation they can use to build out their future marketing strategies.”

Marketing Featured Global

Elon Musk to acquire Twitter for US$44b

San Francisco, USA – Social media giant Twitter has announced that they will be acquired by multi-billionaire CEO of Tesla Elon Musk for US$44b, based on US$54.20 per share in cash. Upon completion of the transaction, Twitter will become a privately held company.

This follows after Elon Musk announced that he had previously bought a 9.2% stake in the company and invited to be part of the company’s board. However, Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal clarified back then that Musk won’t be joining the board.

Speaking about his acquisition of Twitter, Musk said, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

He added, “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans. Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

Meanwhile, Agrawal commented, “Twitter has a purpose and relevance that impacts the entire world. Deeply proud of our teams and inspired by the work that has never been more important.”

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Twitter Board of Directors, is expected to close in 2022, subject to the approval of Twitter stockholders, the receipt of applicable regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Bret Taylor, Twitter’s Independent Board Chair, said, “The Twitter Board conducted a thoughtful and comprehensive process to assess Elon’s proposal with a deliberate focus on value, certainty, and financing. The proposed transaction will deliver a substantial cash premium, and we believe it is the best path forward for Twitter’s stockholders.”

Platforms Featured Global

Twitter to prohibit misleading ads about climate change on platform

Singapore – Social media platform Twitter has announced that it will be prohibiting misleading advertising regarding climate change on their platform. The announcement was made to a recent blog by the company in celebration of this year’s Earth Day.

The blog, written by Director of Sustainability Seán Boyle and Global Sustainability Manager Casey Junod, notes that said approach is informed by authoritative sources, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports. 

“We believe that climate denialism shouldn’t be monetized on Twitter, and that misrepresentative ads shouldn’t detract from important conversations about the climate crisis,” they said.

They also added, “We recognize that misleading information about climate change can undermine efforts to protect the planet. In the coming months, we’ll have more to share on our work to add reliable, authoritative context to the climate conversations happening on Twitter.”

Twitter also pledged to continue its dedicated topic rollout on the platform to help people find personalised conversations about climate change, which included a stint for #COP26 last year, where Twitter rolled out pre-bunks — hubs of credible, authoritative information across a range of key themes, like the science backing climate change, made available in the ‘Explore’ tab, ‘Search’, and ‘Trends’.

The platform also noted that the climate conversation happening on Twitter is ever-expanding and uniquely global. Since 2021, conversation about sustainability has grown by more than 150%, and they have seen a 60% increase in terms like ‘restoring’ and ‘rebalancing’. In addition, discussion around waste reduction has increased by over 100%, and decarbonization by more than 50%.

“We all have a part we can play in tackling this urgent, global crisis. From volunteering with an environmental organisation in your community, to joining a Twitter Space with environmental experts, to learning more about protecting our planet, there are lots of ways to get involved,” the company concluded.

Platforms Featured Global

Twitter CEO: Elon Musk not joining Twitter’s board

California, USA — Multi-billionaire and CEO of Tesla Elon Musk has rescinded his decision to join social media giant Twitter’s board. 

In a tweet on Sunday night by Parag Agrawal, CEO of Twitter, he clarified that Musk will not be joining the company’s board.

“The Board and I had many discussions about Musk joining the board, and with Musk directly. We were excited to collaborate and be clear about the risks,” Agrawal said.

In the same tweet, he continued: “Musk’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective 9 April, but Musk shared that same morning that he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best. We have and will always value input from our shareholders whether they are on our Board or not. Musk is our biggest shareholder and we will remain open to his input.”

Less than a week ago, Musk was reported to have bought a 9.2% stake in the social media giant making him the largest individual shareholder. The buyout would also mean Musk was eligible to be part of the company’s board as a Class II director according to Twitter’s regulatory filings; a role that would end in 2024.

Marketing Featured Global

Elon Musk joins Twitter’s board following buyout of company stake

New York, USA – Multi-billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, officially joins the board of global social media platform Twitter, following Musk buying a 9.2% stake in the company.

In a tweet by Parag Agrawal, CEO at Twitter, he said that Musk is both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service, which is exactly what they need on Twitter and in the boardroom, to make them stronger in the long-term.

Twitter said in its regulatory filing that Musk is categorised as a Class II director with a term expiring at the company’s 2024 annual meeting of stockholders. In addition, Twitter pointed out that for as long as MrMusk is serving on the Board and for 90 days thereafter, Musk will not, either alone or as a member of a group, become the beneficial owner of more than 14.9% of Twitter’s common stock outstanding at such time.

The decision comes six months after Agrawal became the platform’s CEO while its founder Jack Dorsey left the company to become the CEO of Block, an American financial services and digital payments company.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Twitter partners with COMELEC to promote healthy civic discussion amidst upcoming elections

Manila, Philippines – With the Philippines’ 2022 national elections fast approaching and in order to promote healthy civic discussion online, social media platform Twitter has partnered with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to amplify voter education initiatives on the policy, product and partnership front to protect the integrity of election-centric conversations on the platform.

To unite people around election conversations on Twitter, the platform has launched a series of customised emojis that aim to be valuable visual links to aid the discoverability of election-related discussions. The emojis will run throughout the campaign period and will be available until 27 May.

From 16 March, a microphone emoji with the Philippine flag colours can be activated by the hashtag #PilipinasDebates2022 and #AskPilipinasDebates, in line with the ongoing national debates of candidates. Meanwhile, starting 31 March, for election-related conversation, Twitter is launching a special emoji that features a ballot box, a universal symbol for elections, set in front of the Philippine flag. They can be activated using the hashtags #2022NLE, #BumotoKa, #Halalan2022, #Piniliay2022, #HIJAlalan2022, #PHVote, #PHVoteResults, and #WeDecide.

In addition, starting 31 March, an emoji featuring the silhouette of a female, who represents the Motherland, will be activated by use of the hashtag #VoteSafePilipinas.

Additionally, online search prompts will be available to facilitate access to authoritative sources of information on voting in both Filipino and English languages. The search prompt is a notification service that connects people to credible information about the elections. When searching for keywords associated with the Philippine General Election such as “NLE 2022,” “Vote Philippines” and “General Election”; the search result will show a notification at the top, directing people to the latest credible election information from COMELEC or VoteSAFEPilipinas.

James B. Jimenez, director of education and information department at COMELEC, said, “With a record-breaking 65.7 million registered voters, the Philippines is expected to hold one of the largest elections in Asia. During this most important time for us as a nation; collaboration between governments, industry partners and civic organisations is crucial to protect the integrity of the elections. We are pleased to be partnering with Twitter to fight misinformation and encourage voter participation.”

To support the diverse voter base, Twitter is partnering and working together with a wide range of partner organisations to ensure Twitter is a place for healthy public conversation. In addition, they will be hosting and/or promoting a series of events on Twitter to educate voters on the elections process, fight against misinformation, and foster healthy discussions around election-specific issues. These organisations include #FactsFirstPH, Foundation for Media Alternatives, GMA Network, Legal Network for Truthful Elections, National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and Plan International Philippines (@planphilippines).

Monrawee Ampolpittayanant, head of public policy, government and philanthropy for Twitter in Southeast Asia, commented, “At Twitter, protecting the integrity of public conversation during elections is core to our mission. Our policies are designed to help protect against inauthentic information and safeguard healthy public conversations. Drawing on insights and lessons from previous elections, both globally and in the Philippines, we have implemented products, policies, and enforcement updates to protect and support the conversation taking place during the course of the upcoming election.”

She added, “Platforms like Twitter are where important election related conversations are taking place. We are closely monitoring abusive behaviour, this includes content in Filipino, and will not tolerate any rule-violating activities, such as spam. Together with COMELEC, non-profit organisations and other trusted partners on the ground; we continue to harness the power of the #OpenInternet to strengthen civic dialogue and encourage quality participation during this important Philippine General Election.”

The platform also announced that they have formed an internal elections group to lead their electoral integrity work from now through polling day. Using their proprietary-built internal tools, the team will proactively protect Trends on Twitter in the Philippines, support partner escalations, and identify potential threats from malicious actors. 

“Cross-functional by design, we have a dedicated and specially trained team, consisting of the company’s top trust and safety experts with local language capabilities and a deep understanding of local contexts. This blend of perspectives, expertise, and backgrounds is absolutely critical in addressing issues that arise from the elections,” Twitter said in a press statement.