Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday gave the strongest hint yet that he would like to pay less for Twitter than his $44 billion offer made last month.
According to a report by Bloomberg News, Elon Musk told in the Miami technology conference that a viable deal at alower price is not out of question.The appearance came a few hours after Musk began trolling Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to fight bots and how it has consistently estimated that less than 5% of Twitter accounts are fake.
Elon Musk estimated that at least 20% of Twitter’s 229 million accounts are spam bots, percentage he said was at the low end of his assessment, according to the report. Musk told the conference in Miami that he suspects bots – or automated accounts – make up about 20% to 25% of users, according to tweets by attendees.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal acknowledged Twitter isn’t perfect at catching spam. He wrote that every quarter, the company has made the estimate of less than 5% spam. “Our estimate is based on multiple human reviews of thousands of accounts that are sampled at random, consistently over time,” Agrawal wrote.
Estimates for the last four quarters were all well under 5%, he wrote. “The error margins on our estimates give us confidence in our public statements each quarter.”
Musk, who on Friday said the deal was “temporarily on hold” pending information on spam accounts, responded to Agrawal’s defense of the company’s methodology with a poop emoji.
“So how do advertisers know what they’re getting for their money? This is fundamental to the financial health of Twitter,” Musk wrote.
Earlier on Friday Musk tweeted that his plan to buy Twitter was placed on temporary hold as he tried to pinpoint the number of fake accounts on the social media platform. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said the hold was pending details of Twitter’s calculation that fake accounts are less than 5% of its users.