If you thought Elon Musk buying Twitter was going to be a straightforward process, we have some bad news. The Twitter deal is now “on hold” until Musk can learn more about the platform’s spam bot problem.
Musk announced the pause on Twitter early this morning and sourced a recent report from Reuters. That report shows that bots and fake accounts make up less than 5% of its “monetizable daily active users.”
It seems Musk isn’t so sure about those numbers and wants a more in-depth study to find out the actual number of bots on the platform. Since Musk first started campaigning for a Twitter buyout, removing fake accounts has been at the forefront of his messaging.
It’s quite possible those spam bot numbers could be higher. And it wouldn’t be the first time Twitter has “messed up” its numbers. In its 2022 earnings release, the company revealed it had overestimated its user numbers by a couple of million from Q1 2019 through Q4 2021.
That error was due to people with multiple accounts getting counted twice, so it isn’t outside the realm of possibilities that the company’s spam bot numbers are incorrect, as well.
If the number of spam bots is higher, that means less value for the company. That’s because there are fewer eyeballs to view ads. That would make the deal less desirable to Musk. It could also just be a convenient way for Musk to slither out of the deal without paying a $1 billion fee.
Regardless, it still seems like Musk is dedicated to the deal as of now. After the “on hold” tweet, he dropped another tweet a few hours later saying he was still committed to the acquisition.