That $44 billion Twitter buyout by Elon Musk? It just became a lot less certain.
On Friday, Musk tweeted that the deal has been put “on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”
That calculation comes from Twitter itself, which made the estimate in a SEC filing, dated May 2 (via Reuters).
From the filing: “We have performed an internal review of a sample of accounts and estimate that the average of false or spam accounts during the first quarter of 2022 represented fewer than 5% of our mDAU during the quarter. The false or spam accounts for a period represents the average of false or spam accounts in the samples during each monthly analysis period during the quarter. In making this determination, we applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts, and the actual number of false or spam accounts could be higher than we have estimated.”
Twitter also said it has made improvements in its spam detection capabilities, resulting in “suspension of a large number of spam, malicious automation, and fake accounts.”
We intend to continue to make such improvements,” the company said.
Spam accounts have been a thorn in Musk’s side for a while, and are one thing the potential new Twitter owner has pledged to eradicate from the platform. He also plans to dramatically increase revenue from subscriptions, as well as vastly increase the number of users in the next couple of years.
Musk did not offer any further details, but the wording of his tweet implies that he doesn’t believe Twitter’s estimation that only 5% of users are spambots.