Xposed: Unmasking X's Unclear Stats, Brand Safety Moves, and the True Pulse of Engagement

Doubts about X's transparency arise as the platform appears to present data in a more favorable light under Elon Musk's ownership.

The latest from X is about teaming up with Integral Ad Science (IAS) to make sure ads in vertical videos are safe.

X says it's mainly a video platform, with more than 8 out of 10 users watching videos, and views going up almost 30% each year.

But there's a problem – we don't know if this is the total views or just an average. X's communication is not great, and there's no PR team to explain things.

X claims over 100 million people watch vertical videos every day, but without more contextual info, it's hard to comprehend.

Even though TikTok and Instagram make vertical videos popular, X's video player doesn't support it naturally. So, claims of so many people watching vertical videos seem off.

Still, X is making efforts to reassure brands about ad safety in vertical videos through their partnership with IAS.

Starting February 1, 2024, X will let more advertisers use their vetted inventory with IAS, giving them more control over where their ads show up.

The reduction in spending on X might stem from Musk's comments causing discord, rather than concerns about ad safety.

X also says they're hiring more people for their team to make sure ads are placed in the right spots.

But X's data is all over the place, with different numbers from CEO Linda Yaccarino (32 minutes per day user engagement) vs Musk (claims daily user time spent in 24 minutes) causing confusion.

Musk often shares cherry-picked stats, like web traffic, to make X seem better than Instagram and Facebook. But it's not, as most of X's activity is on web browsers, not the app.

Because of all these mixed-up numbers, it's hard to trust what X says. So, if you're a marketer, it's better to focus on how engaged your audience is on X and see if it aligns with your goals. Experimenting might be the way to go.

Read next: Study Shows The Impact of Google's Search Generative Experience on Organic Rankings
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