- X, formerly Twitter, has enlisted Integral Ad Science (IAS) to provide brand safety and suitability certification for advertisers on the platform, according to a press release.
- IAS will offer third-party affirmation that ads running on the social media platform will appear in suitable environments as defined by the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM). IAS provides similar brand safety technology for TikTok and YouTube.
- The news comes amid increased concerns that X has become a haven for hate speech and offensive content since Elon Musk bought the company last year. Recently, two of the platform’s executives in charge of brand safety departed. Shortly thereafter, reports surfaced that the company has experienced a precipitous drop in ad revenue.
At this point, it’s clear the company formerly known as Twitter has to do something to keep advertisers coming back. Since Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk bought the platform, hate speech and offensive content have flourished, according to industry watchdog groups. Musk vehemently denies the notion and has sued the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate over a recent report.
However, perception is reality in this case, as advertisers do not want to run the risk of having their ads run alongside offensive messaging. Brand safety and transparency has been an ongoing marketing concern since the dawn of the digital age, and this is X’s opportunity to demonstrate leadership in the area.
“Balancing free expression and platform safety is our number one priority — and we are proving these two things are not at odds,” said X CEO Linda Yaccarino, in a release. “Growing our partnership with IAS offers brands a new level of protection and transparency as they continue to grow on X.”
Those initiatives also include adding sensitivity settings that will enable advertisers to set thresholds for the messaging that might appear alongside their ads, according to a company blog post. Using the tool, which will roll out in the next few weeks, advertisers can select guidelines that are “Conservative,” “Standard” or “Relaxed,” which is noted as “coming soon.”
Earlier this year, IAS announced it would provide brand safety and measurement tools for then-named Twitter in the U.S., but the addition of pre-bid tools is a new development. X will use IAS’ pre-bid product exclusively for the duration of a year-long contract, according to reports. The tools will be available on the platform before the end of the year, according to those reports.
X’s struggles since Musk’s purchase have been well-documented, from charging users for a blue verification checkmark and limiting the amount of content certain users can see to mass layoffs (and then reversals of those layoffs). Those moves, along with concerns about the rise of offensive content on the platform, have led some marketers to pause advertising on the platform and spawned a host of potential competitors, most notably Meta’s Threads, which has quickly amassed more than 100 million users.