Outage-ous: Twitter OKs cannabis ads, then goes up in smoke
What happened to not getting high on your own supply?
Twitter needs to make money, and the US cannabis industry is booming, making its decision to become the first major social media platform to allow cannabis advertising in the US the perfect hybrid.
In an update to its drugs and drug paraphernalia policy page published yesterday, Twitter said it would permit approved cannabis and CBD advertisers to target users in the US – with a hefty set of restrictions, of course.
Facebook, Instagram and TikTok all continue to maintain a general ban on cannabis advertisements, while Google allows very limited advertisement of non-intoxicating CBD products.
Over on Twitter, anyone licensed to sell cannabis products can target the jurisdiction where they're licensed to operate, provided they don't do much in the ad.
"Advertisers may not promote or offer the sale of Cannabis," Twitter said, and can't target users under the age of 21, sensibly, since none of the US states where recreational cannabis is legal allow such use under that age.
Advertisers can't "use characters, sportspersons, celebrities or images/icons appealing to minors," can't make claims of efficacy or health benefits or "false/misleading" claims, and can't show anyone using cannabis or show anyone under its effects.
In short, you can tell folks you're the weed man, but you can't tell folks you've got their weed, man.
Another attempt at growing some green
Elon Musk, Twitter's new owner and awkwardly public cannabis connoisseur/meme maker, has been trying a lot of different methods to make Twitter profitable. Musk said that's been challenging, but he was recently quoted as saying Twitter was edging closer.
Ad spending, which was one of the cornerstones of Twitter's business models in the pre-Musk days, plummeted when the platform transformed in October, and it's unclear if the cash has come back.
Cannabis would be a pretty sure money making bet in the states where it's legal in the US – a number that grows each election cycle. Recent research forecast the legal cannabis market in the US was on course for a compound annual growth rate of 25.4 percent between 2023 and 2030 – and it's already worth $16.7 billion.
That's a lot of weed, a lot of people who want to consume it, and a huge advertising market to be cornered. Twitter will just need to be careful to prevent the introduction of cannabis from making its advertisement quality worse than it already has been of late – and the cannabis industry, legal or not, is home to a lot of fraud.
Wait, what were we doing?
Speaking of weird headspaces, Twitter was reportedly down again yesterday, with more than 9,000 people reporting trouble using the microblogging service, according to Downdetector.
Turning to Twitter for answers probably won't do much good, as the company has stopped responding to press inquiries and Musk allegedly fired that team early in his tenure at the company's helm.
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Additionally, Reuters pointed out, Twitter's network status page didn't show any outages.
This isn't the first Twitter outage since Musk took the helm and fired some of the engineers responsible for keeping it functioning – last week a server migration glitch caused twitterati to be without the ability to post for around 90 minutes.
As we noted then, Twitter's status page didn't show any issues during that outage either, and it displays the same message today as it did yesterday, and on February 9th during the bad migration: "No incidents in the last 180 days." ®