Digital advert spending, whereas nonetheless rising general, “has decelerated precipitously,” in accordance with an evaluation final month by the analysis agency Insider Intelligence.

Twitter appears to be faring the worst. The corporate has struggled to retain top-flight advertisers since Mr. Musk took over as proprietor in October, amid fears of a proliferation of hate speech and misinformation on the platform. Its 10 largest advertisers final yr spent 55 % much less throughout Mr. Musk’s tenure than they did a yr earlier, with six of them spending nothing thus far in 2023, in accordance with estimates from the analysis agency Sensor Tower. Twitter has provided buy-one-get-one-free offers, reductions and bonus incentives to lure again advertisers, media patrons mentioned.

However promoting troubles have hit the largest publicly traded social networks, too. Snapchat’s mum or dad firm final month posted its slowest-ever charge of quarterly progress and projected a gross sales drop for the present quarter. Google’s mum or dad firm, Alphabet, mentioned advert gross sales at YouTube slipped practically 8 % within the newest quarter.

Final yr, Meta, which owns Fb and Instagram, reported its first decline ever in quarterly income (it fell once more final quarter). Advert costs on Fb and Instagram fell 24 % within the final quarter of 2022 from a yr earlier, in accordance with the funding financial institution Piper Sandler.

Shareholder stress, stoked by years of massive income, continues to push these firms to generate income wherever potential  — together with, consultants mentioned, by means of promoting low-quality adverts.

Corey Richardson, vice chairman on the multicultural advert company Fluent360 in Chicago, mentioned he was seeing extra adverts for objects through which he had no curiosity — Hawaiian shirts that includes “Star Wars” characters, a fountain formed like palms folded within the prayer place, all blended in with vaccine misinformation and the occasional video depicting violence.

“They’re simply taking no matter cash comes — beggars can’t be choosers,” Mr. Richardson mentioned.

Twitter didn’t reply to a request for remark. Meta declined to remark. YouTube mentioned it invested “considerably” in advert high quality and client expertise.