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Elon Musk’s X can’t send Blue subscribers their ad revenue-sharing payouts on time

Elon Musk’s X can’t send Blue subscribers their ad revenue-sharing payouts on time


Twitter / X announced late on Friday that the check is (not) in the mail.

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The Twitter bird impaled on the X logo.
Image: The Verge

In news that isn’t very surprising given the recent history of Twitter, which Elon Musk is currently rebranding to X, the company won’t be able to make some promised payments on time. The X Support account says that because its “Ads Revenue Sharing” program is so popular, “We need a bit more time to review everything for the next payout and aim to get all eligible accounts paid as soon as possible.”

From the linked support page:

August 4, 2023 update: The volume of people signing up for revenue sharing has exceeded our expectations. We previously said that payments would occur the week of July 31st. We need a bit more time to review everything for the next payout and hope to get all eligible accounts paid as soon as possible.

Thank you for your patience!

In between replies to parodies of his own account, tweets about the SpaceX Starship, The Boring Company, and other posts, Elon Musk tweeted a few times about the delay and noted the Twitter Blue program is now calling itself “X Premium.”

Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino has not tweeted publicly about the delay.

He replied to one comment claiming a lot of people are interested, saying, “Which is great! They should be,” and later claimed that due to the overwhelming interest (without attaching numbers), payments would “take a few more days to process.”

That’s not exactly what you’d want to hear from a program touting itself as “part of our effort to help people earn a living directly on X,” and the key to Elon Musk’s X dream for an app that handles banking, stock trading, and other vital financial features. Musk announced the revenue-sharing plan in February, and the company sent out the first round of payments for eligible accounts (with paid verification via Twitter Blue or Verified organizations, 15 million “organic” impressions in the last three months, and at least 500 followers) a couple of weeks ago before opening up registration to more people.

However, hearing that payments aren’t arriving is familiar news to a number of people and organizations involved with X / Twitter since Musk’s takeover. That includes landlords of buildings used by Twitter in San Francisco and London or former employees of Twitter Africa who complain they were “ghosted” and left without promised severance payments.

The list also features several former employees that filed a lawsuit against the company in May, saying “Twitter’s new leadership deliberately, specifically, and repeatedly announced their intentions to breach contracts, violate laws, and otherwise ignore their legal obligations,” while leaving rent, vendors, and severance unpaid.

A Wall Street Journal article in February counted nine lawsuits covering $14 million in unpaid bills at the time.

In July, Musk tweeted about Twitter / X’s financial situation, saying, “We’re still negative cash flow, due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load.”

But hey, Twitter’s unpaid Google Cloud bill reportedly got paid eventually, so maybe everyone who shelled out $8 (or $84 annually) in the hope of cashing in on Elon’s revenue sharing will get paid too — and soon.

Update August 5th, 3:45AM ET: Added details from Musk’s tweets.

Update August 5th, 10:20PM ET: Added notes about “X Premium” rebranding for Twitter Blue.