Twitter has stopped showing adverts to some VIP users, according to a report from Re/code.
The tech news site claims that in an attempt to get its most valuable users to “stay engaged” with the social network, they are being given an ad-free experience.
Twitter, which is free to use, relies on advertising to drive revenue.
How adverts look in Twitter timelines:
It’s not clear how Twitter determines users sufficiently valuable to not serve them adverts. Re/code reports, citing unnamed sources, that both “volume” and “reach” of tweets is a factor. Verification (the blue tick that celebrities, politicians, journalists, and other important users get) apparently isn’t enough — I’m verified and I still see adverts in my timeline and across the site.
Some other journalists appear to be getting an ad-free Twitter experience.
Business Insider has reached out to Twitter to ask about the criteria used, and will update this story when it responds. A company spokesperson told Re/code that “We’re constantly looking at constraints and adjustments to optimise which ads are shown and how often.”
Others on the social network have questioned the wisdom of removing adverts for valuable users. As the most important people on the site, these are the people advertisers will be most keen to target, the logic goes.
Twitter is having a rough time right now. The stock is nose-diving as the company struggles to attract new users and revitalise the service. On Sunday, four executives left the company, along with another senior employee. In October 2015, the news broke that it is making 8% of its global workforce redundant.
Here’s how the stock has performed over the last year:
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