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Starlink purchases 'Twitter takeover' ad package, Musk dismisses it as 'tiny'

Well, which one is it, then?

Between trying to convince advertisers to keep faith in Twitter and firing engineers for public insubordination, Elon Musk yesterday admitted that one of his other businesses, SpaceX, had bought an ad campaign through the social media website.

Though the recursive move was described by crypto news site Watcher.Guru as "large" and "big money," the entrepreneur downplayed the transaction as merely to "test effectiveness of Twitter advertising" in Australia and Spain.

But Musk's typically dismissive attitude is somewhat at odds with what Watcher characterized as "one of the largest advertising packages available on the social media giant."

According to the website: "The aerospace company intended to purchase a package known as Twitter 'takeover.' It is estimated to cost more than $250,000. Starlink would receive constant daylong promotions through this package at the top of Twitter's timeline. The first three times Twitter users in Australia and Spain open the app, Starlink's brand messaging is anticipated to appear."

While The Reg might be far from qualified to suggest that there may be some cognitive dissonance between the terms "takeover" and "tiny" as they relate to advertising campaigns, we're going to do it anyway.

Advertisers have become more tentative with regard to Twitter since Musk took the reins, advising big brands to hit the brakes until it all blows over. The Twitter chief attempted to soothe fears with an open letter to advertisers, but whether it has had much effect is unclear.

Meanwhile, the chaos has continued unabated. Musk totally negated the purpose of blue ticks by making what was once a verification feature available to anyone willing to pay eight bucks a month. Predictably, this led to trolls posing as established brands and wreaking havoc.

In the case of Eli Lilly, a fake but "verified" account dressed up as the drugs giant tweeted that "Insulin is free now." The company's stock then fell 4.37 percent. It can't be said for certain whether that was down to the tweet, but it's not a good look for brands with a presence on the platform.

Likewise, '80s Nintendo icon Mario flipped the bird at Twitter from an account many mistook for an official mouthpiece for the Japanese games company.

The Register has rounded up a fortnight of other "dumb things" (in Musk's own words) that have happened in the Twittersphere since the Tesla and SpaceX CEO took over for your reading pleasure here.

All this comes as Musk clashed with a Twitter engineer yesterday over the inner workings of the website on the social media platform itself. Musk claimed the website was having performance issues because of ">1,000 poorly batched RPCs just to render a home timeline!" Staffer Eric Frohnhoefer retorted that the "apps don't make RPC calls." By the end of the day, Frohnhoefer was gone. ®

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