Twitter made the same mistake its archrival Facebook made some time ago. Business Insider’s Alex Heath revealed that Twitter overcharged some advertisers. BI learned from a source that video ad buyers were overcharged by up to 35% between November 7 and December 12.
Twitter didn’t fully acknowledge its mistake
The micro-blogging firm informed advertisers of the mistake earlier this week and issued refunds. The company did not make any public announcement regarding the mistake or that it was issuing refunds to advertisers until after the report from BI, notes TechCrunch.
Citing a person familiar with the matter, BI said that a recent version of Twitter’s Android app had a bug that was responsible for all the chaos by inflating video advertising metrics by as much as 35%.
Twitter made a short and extremely vague blog post, saying, “We discovered a technical error due to a Twitter product update to Android clients that affected some video ad campaigns.”
Nowhere in the post does the company mention that advertisers were over-billed or that it has issued refunds to them. In a statement on Thursday, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed the bug.
“Once we discovered the issue, we resolved it and communicated the impact to affected partners. Given this was a technical error, not a policy or definition issue, we are confident it has been resolved.”
Nothing going right for Twitter
Some of the refunds could be just $1, reported VentureBeat, indicating that some of the affected advertisers weren’t running huge campaigns. This news will definitely shake advertisers’ trust in Twitter’s ad platform. Twitter, however, hopes that live videos and the lucrative ads it runs will help sustain it.
Twitter is going through a very tough time with stagnant user growth, flat advertising revenue and an outflow of top executives. Recent high-profile departures include its longtime COO Adam Bain, the VP of ad sales, and the head of media partnerships. The CTO and vice president of product are the most recent departures.
Twitter has already lost 60% of its top leaders, and its share price has taken a hit, notes TechCrunch. Speculations about it being an acquisition target also frizzled out. Between the second and third quarter of 2016, it added just 4 million new monthly active users. In October, the company laid off 9% of its global workforce, including the team behind its standalone Vine app.
On Thursday, Twitter shares closed down 3.92% at $16.41. Year to date, the stock is down more than 29%, while in the last six months, it is up almost 2%.