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Makayla MylesApril 3, 2024

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X appears to be juicing MrBeast’s views as Elon Musk tries to woo the YouTuber to the platform

MrBeast, the most popular creator on YouTube, uploaded his latest YouTube video to Elon Musk’s X for the first time.
X appears to be juicing MrBeasts views as Elon Musk tries to woo the YouTuber to the platform

MrBeast, the most popular creator on YouTube, uploaded his latest YouTube video to Elon Musk’s X for the first time. According to MrBeast, he was “curious” about “how much ad revenue” he would make from the upload, so he uploaded the video directly to the platform as a “test.” Now, X users are reporting that MrBeast’s post containing the video upload is being forced into their feed multiple times a day as an unlabeled advertisement.

“This has shown up in my feed maybe 7 times now,” posted one X user, referring to the MrBeast video. “It is both missing the post time next to the username and the Ad indicator on the top right.” The user is referring to the proliferation of apparently unlabeled ads, a fairly recent phenomenon on X that began after Musk acquired the company in October 2022. It is one that Mashable has previously reported on. X has served some of its users unlabeled advertisements since September of last year. These ads appear in a user’s feed without any “ad” or “promoted” label that the platform usually affixes to paid posts. However, users can tell that these are unlabeled ads and not organic posts because they are missing the date the post was published, which is shown on posts but not ads. In addition, as Mashable previously reported and as the quoted X user also discovered, users can still find an option to tell X that they are “not interested in this ad” in the dropdown ellipsis icon menu on unlabeled ads. This option does not appear for organic posts. Adtech watchdog Check My Ads has already previously filed a complaint against X with the FTC over the company’s lack of transparency regarding this labeling issue.

An X employee claimed to Ryan Broderick of the Garbage Day newsletter in a recent report that because there’s a labeled pre-roll video ad that plays before MrBeast’s video, the company considers that to be the disclosure. This, according to the X employee, explains why there’s no “ad” or “promoted” label affixed to the actual Mr Beast post itself.

That doesn’t make any sense. The pre-roll video ad is a completely different advertisement. If viewers are being served MrBeast’s post in their feed and it isn’t organically showing up — and the aforementioned attributes point to it being served via X’s advertising platform — then MrBeast’s post containing the video is a completely separate advertisement and needs to be labeled as such. 

As some other X users have pointed out, older versions of the X app indeed show   MrBeast’s post with the “promoted” label which means it is being served to users via X’s advertising platform. We should note here that it’s possible that some users are being served MrBeast’s post organically. Many ads on X are published as regular posts and then later boosted through its ad platform. The instances mentioned in this piece, however, are promoted posts being served through X’s ad platform. So, it appears that X is juicing MrBeast’s impressions via unlabeled ads. One can certainly argue whether this lack of transparency is intentional or not, but this does seem to be what’s happening.

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David Poghosyan, Head of Department (Features)
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