Elon Musk-owned X Corp has recently unveiled a significant change to its platform, leaving users both intrigued and frustrated. The company has introduced clickbait ads that, notably, users cannot block or report. This move has generated a buzz in the tech world and raises questions about transparency and user experience on the platform.
What Are Clickbait Ads?
Clickbait ads are designed to catch your eye and lure you into clicking on them. They often use sensational headlines, intriguing images, or enticing promises to pique your curiosity. On other platforms, these ads are often seen as a nuisance, but on X Corp, things have taken an unexpected turn.
The Unwanted Guest in Your Feed
X Corp users are now encountering what can be described as “unlabeled ads” while scrolling through their feeds. These ads do not come with the usual “Ad” label that identifies them as sponsored content. They seamlessly blend with regular posts, making them difficult to distinguish.
The Missing Block and Report Buttons
One of the most striking aspects of these clickbait ads is that users have no option to block or report them. When clicked, these ads redirect users to third-party websites, offering no recourse to those who find them annoying or irrelevant.
The Lack of Transparency
Transparency has become a vital aspect of online advertising. Users want to know who is behind the content they see. However, these new ads on X Corp don’t disclose who the advertiser is or even that they are advertisements. This absence of transparency has left many users perplexed and somewhat frustrated.
The clickbait ads on X Corp also restrict user interaction. Users cannot like or retweet these ad posts, and there is no information provided about the origin of the ads.
To add to the intrigue, the content promoted in these ads appears to be of low quality and resembles what is often referred to as “chumbox” advertising. This has raised concerns about the type of content being displayed to users.
What’s Driving This Change?
It’s worth noting that X Corp has been grappling with declining ad revenue, which might explain this new approach. In an effort to boost revenue, the company has partnered with third-party advertisers. Unlike traditional ads that are clearly associated with X Corp accounts and bear an “Ad” label, these new ads lack any clear account affiliation.
X Corp’s Path to Profitability
X Corp’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, has set an ambitious goal of making the platform profitable by early 2024. Yaccarino has shared promising statistics, indicating that 90% of the top 100 advertisers have returned to the platform in the last 12 weeks, with approximately 1,500 advertisers following suit. However, it’s worth mentioning that X Corp has yet to announce an annual profit in its 13-year history.
X Corp’s introduction of clickbait ads without blocking or reporting options, combined with the lack of transparency about advertisers, has sparked considerable debate. While the platform strives to secure its financial future, it remains to be seen how users will respond to this new advertising approach and whether it will help X Corp achieve its goal of profitability by 2024.