15th September 2023

POV: X To Sell Programmatic Ads Via Google


AdAge reported this week, and Google subsequently confirmed, that in a bid to recoup ad dollars X (formerly Twitter) will start to use Google Ad Manager to sell programmatic ads in its home feed.

Details and Implications:

Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter last year and rebranded it to X, the company has seen its ad revenues fall. To try to reverse the decline, earlier this year the company shifted from exclusively selling its inventory through its proprietary online ad manager, to adopting programmatic ad trading. Inmobi was the first partner to offer advertisers the ability to buy inventory on X in May this year.

Google has now joined InMobi, with X using Google Ad Manager, the programmatic ad platform for publishers, to include its home news feed inventory in online auctions.

Google confirmed the deal to AdAge, though no terms have been disclosed. A Google representative told AdAge in a statement: “Like a number of social apps and websites, X has signed up to monetize its home feed with Google Ad Manager. This is an opportunity for our advertisers to reach a broader audience, but as always, they can choose what sites and apps their ads run on. Any publisher who participates in this type of partnership must abide by our publisher policies.”

The report goes on to state that any ads that appear on X through Google will be labelled as “promoted,” following its transparency in reporting guidelines and the only X ad inventory available for brands via Google will be within X’s home feed.

Recently, X has created ad inventory outside its home feed, such as in comment sections beneath popular posts, in search results, and on the account pages of highly followed X users, but this will not be included.

The home feed inventory has the most brand safety reporting from third-party providers such as Integral Ad Science and Double Verify, which provides advertisers with information about the types of posts adjacent to their ads, and this will be crucial as the content will need to adhere to Google’s publishers standards to ensure brand safety for advertisers buying the inventory.

Musk’s moderation policies have created more latitude for sharing content on X that could be considered offensive by certain brands, resulting in brand safety becoming a bigger issue on the platform. So, it is important to note that Google’s ad platform allows advertisers to turn off sites they don’t want included in their campaigns, so X can be avoided if required.


The inclusion of Google's ad supply marks a significant development in X’s programmatic shift. Google serves millions of advertisers, is the largest online ad seller and has a vast network of publishers connected to its ad manager, so X will be looking to this deal and also a revamped sales leadership it announced this week, to help rebuild ad revenues.

Further Reading:

AdAge | The Verge

Please note: a GroupM POV on this topic will be made available next week.

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