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Elon Musk slams Microsoft with a legal warning after it declares discontinuing Twitter ad support.

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Elon Musk warns Microsoft of legal action.
Elon Musk's warning to Microsoft

Elon Musk tweets that it will sue Microsoft over the Twitter ad support withdrawal.

Elon Musk has recently raised concerns over the alleged illegal use of Twitter data by Microsoft, leading him to threaten legal action against the tech giant. The issue seems to stem from Microsoft’s decision to stop supporting Twitter on its advertising platform, reportedly due to changes that require payment to access its API.

While Musk’s statement lacks specificity, this concern may be related to OpenAI’s use of Twitter data to train its language model, including ChatGPT. Although OpenAI is not affiliated with Microsoft, the company has made a significant investment in the AI firm, which is involved in the development of AI tools like Bing, Edge, and Microsoft 365.

There is uncertainty regarding whether or not Musk will carry out his legal warnings against Microsoft, considering his past of issuing comparable warnings that failed to come to fruition. An instance of this occurred with his previous warnings against the originator of the @ElonJet Twitter account. Regardless, this circumstance brings up significant inquiries concerning the ethical application of social media information in the development of AI and emphasizes the necessity for increased openness and responsibility in this field.

Microsoft’s move

Microsoft clearly has the resources to pay Twitter what it wants given its $2.15 trillion market worth and approximately $100 billion in cash on hand at the end of last year; therefore, the action looks to be making a statement even though Microsoft is hesitant to do so.

With regard to Twitter, Microsoft specifically informed its customers today that “Starting on April 25, 2023, Smart Campaigns with Multi-platform will no longer support Twitter” and “Digital Marketing Centre (DMC) will no longer support Twitter starting on April 25, 2023.”

As a result of the changes, users won’t be able to access their Twitter accounts or utilise Microsoft’s free social media management tool to compose, schedule, or manage tweets in any other way.

Microsoft declines to comment.

Microsoft has chosen not to issue a statement regarding this matter, while Twitter’s response was quite unconventional, with the press email replying with a poop emoji. However, according to a message posted on Microsoft’s advertising platform support page, the company has decided to withdraw its support for Twitter from April 25th, 2023. As a result, businesses will no longer be able to use Microsoft’s platform to manage their tweets or interactions. This decision coincides with Twitter’s plan to place its API, which enables access to its platform, behind a paywall. As per Twitter’s new pricing structure, large organizations like Microsoft may have to shell out up to $42,000 each month to access Twitter’s API, leading to smaller developers like Tapbots, the creators of Tweetbot, abandoning the platform.

The Microsoft- Twitter rivalry.

There is cause for some hostility between Twitter and Microsoft. Microsoft has invested several billions of dollars in OpenAI, which Musk co-founded in 2015 and left a few years later, in addition to coming to a licencing agreement with the company. Since then, he has often criticised it, particularly on Twitter. Additionally, he recently disclosed that he was organising a rival initiative.

Moreover, the timing of Microsoft’s move to withdraw its support couldn’t be worse for Musk, as Microsoft seems to have caused a blow to his efforts to woo back advertisers. According to reports, Musk lost over half of Twitter’s top 1,000 advertisers following his takeover of the platform in late October, and he has been working hard to win them back. Microsoft’s move may make this task even more challenging for Musk.

The decision by Microsoft to discontinue support for Twitter has however come as a surprise to many, given the long-standing partnership between the two companies. Microsoft’s advertising platform had been a valuable tool for businesses to manage their Twitter accounts and ads. However, due to recent changes in Twitter’s API pricing, Microsoft has found it challenging to continue providing this service.

The impact on businesses

In 2022, Twitter implemented a new pricing model for API access based on the number of users accessing the platform via a particular app or service. Large companies like Microsoft, which have a significant number of users accessing Twitter through their platform, are likely to be disproportionately affected by these changes. This new pricing structure would require Microsoft to pay significantly more to access Twitter’s API, making it financially unsustainable for them to continue supporting the platform.

The decision by Microsoft is expected to have a significant impact on businesses that depend on the Microsoft advertising platform to manage their Twitter accounts. Without this support, these businesses will need to find alternative solutions to handle their social media presence on Twitter. Furthermore, Twitter’s choice to place its API behind a paywall has also resulted in smaller developers abandoning the platform due to their inability to afford the new pricing structure.

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