Twitter really is losing users under Elon Musk.

X is shrinking meaningfully under Elon Musk. Since Musk bought Twitter in October 2022, it’s lost approximately 13 percent of its app’s daily active users, according to new data from mobile research firm Apptopia (that I was first to report last week on Big Technology), and its rebrand as X only accelerated the decline. Meta’s Twitter clone Threads, meanwhile, isn’t taking advantage of its rival’s troubles, with stagnant engagement and little meaningful migration.

Apptopia pulls its data from more than 100,000 apps on iOS and Android, along with publicly available sources. Its new data should put to rest the countervailing narratives over Musk’s management of X. Under his stewardship, X’s daily user base has declined from an estimated 140 million app users to 121 million, Apptopia says, with a widening gap between people who check it daily versus monthly. X’s remaining daily users are engaged similarly as before. But the pool is shrinking.

Under Musk, X’s key use case has degraded considerably. The app built its relevance by delivering in-the-moment updates on key news events from firsthand sources and reporters. But Musk ditched this utility as he’s changed its main news feed algorithm; these days it privileges ChatGPT influencers, edgelords, and his business and culture-war confidants. Musk also overhauled verification into a paid feature, putting a larger burden on the user to sort through who might be close to a story and who might simply be LARPing as a source close to the news. It’s one reason the app is offering few reasons for many users to linger.

Beyond those UI changes, Musk’s July rebrand of Twitter to X—discarding a troubled but ubiquitous brand—caused the company serious harm. In both August and September, X lost more than 5 percent of its daily users month over month. This all but negated any positive momentum Musk generated during the takeover.

Source: https://slate.com


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