X is serving MrBeast’s first direct video upload as an advertisement without any ad label. Credit: Mashable composite, Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

The situation seems set.

MrBeast, the most-watched creator on YouTube, chose to post his latest video straight to Elon Musk’s X for the first time. MrBeast stated that he was intrigued about the potential ad revenue from this upload, so he decided to use the platform as a “test.”

Now, X users are noticing that MrBeast’s post with the video upload is relentlessly being pushed into their feed multiple times a day without being labeled as an advertisement.

“This keeps appearing in my feed around 7 times now,” shared a user, referring to the MrBeast video. “It lacks the post time next to the username (as usual for regular user posts) and the Ad indication on the top right.”

This user is pointing out the rise of unlabeled ads, a recent development on X following Musk’s acquisition of the company in October 2022. This issue has been covered by Mashable in the past.

What’s the current situation?

SEE ALSO: Elon Musk still plans to turn X / Twitter into a PayPal dupe

X has been delivering unlabeled ads to users since September last year. These ads show up in users’ feeds without the usual “ad” or “promoted” labels. Users can differentiate these unlabeled ads from organic posts because they lack the post publication date, a feature typically present on regular posts but not on ads. As per previous reports by Mashable and noted by the mentioned X user, users have the option to inform X that they are “not interested in this ad” from the dropdown menu on unlabeled ads, a choice not available for organic posts.

Adtech watchdog Check My Ads has lodged a complaint with the FTC against X concerning the company’s lack of clarity regarding this labeling issue.

An X employee told Ryan Broderick of the Garbage Day newsletter in a recent article that the company considers the pre-roll video ad a form of disclosure for MrBeast’s video post. This reasoning, as per the X employee, explains why there is no “ad” or “promoted” label attached to MrBeast’s actual post.

However, this explanation seems flawed. The pre-roll video ad is distinct from MrBeast’s post. If viewers encounter MrBeast’s post in their feed in a non-organic manner — indicated by various characteristics suggesting it’s delivered via X’s advertising platform — then MrBeast’s post, containing the video, should be treated as a separate advertisement and labeled accordingly.

Furthermore, some X users have highlighted that older versions of the X app did present MrBeast’s post with a “promoted” label, implying that it is being served to users through X’s advertising platform.

It’s worth noting that while some users may see MrBeast’s post organically, many X ads start as regular posts and are later boosted via the ad platform. However, the instances mentioned here refer to promoted posts delivered through X’s ad platform.

Therefore, it seems that X is inflating MrBeast’s views through unlabeled ads. The intentions behind this lack of transparency can be debated, but the situation appears as described.

Why is this significant?

Musk’s strategy for X, previously known as Twitter, heavily emphasizes video content. Recently, X CEO Linda Yaccarino announced the signing of former CNN host Don Lemon, sports radio host Jim Rome, and Fox News contributor Tulsi Gabbard to exclusive video deals.

Musk frequently engages with creators, influencers, and media personalities, encouraging them to upload content directly to X. In the case of MrBeast, Musk has done this on several occasions.

Jimmy Donaldson, known as MrBeast, had previously expressed reluctance to upload to X due to the high production costs of his videos, noting that YouTube was the only platform adequately compensating him for his content’s viewership. However, he was convinced to give uploading directly to X a try, at least as an experiment.

If Musk persuades MrBeast with a substantial payday based on the performance of his video upload, it would mark a significant win as Musk aims to shape X’s multimedia future with renowned content creators.

What Lies Ahead for X and MrBeast?

Since posting the video earlier this week, MrBeast has made a few remarks about his “test.”

The creator expressed surprise at his post gaining over 100 million views. (At the time of publication, MrBeast’s post has 128 million views.) However, X does not track views in the same way as platforms like YouTube. Instead, these “views” represent impressions on the post itself, not the number of individuals who watched MrBeast’s video. In May 2023, Musk had X remove the public video view count from the platform, posing uncertainty over the actual view count on X.

In his most recent post, MrBeast solicited his followers’ guesses on the payment he might receive through the ad revenue sharing program: $10, $10,000, $100,000, or $1 million.

Due to the way X’s creator monetization program operates, it’s challenging to predict how much MrBeast will earn. Creators can participate in the monetization program only if they subscribe to X’s paid monthly plans like X Premium or X Premium+. Additionally, X compensates creators solely for ads that appear in responses to their posts, with only impressions from other paying X Premium subscribers considered for monetization.

As previously noted by Mashable, the earnings for creators on X seem arbitrary. X employees have mentioned that creators cannot accurately estimate their earnings as they are not based on a fixed number of views as seen on other platforms. The top earners on X appear to be predominantly Musk’s favored political commentators, Tesla enthusiasts, and meme accounts.

Moreover, it should be mentioned that Musk himself endorsed MrBeast’s video to his 169 million followers.

MrBeast has pledged to disclose his earnings from X’s monetization program as a result of this trial. The exact amount remains uncertain at this point. However, it appears evident that X has significantly influenced the situation to enhance the view count.

Topics Social Media Twitter Elon Musk Creators


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