A year of Musk’s Twitter ownership: a deeper look

Exactly one year has passed since Elon Musk took control of Twitter, renaming it X, with grand plans to transform it into a payments-focused “everything app,” following the model of China’s WeChat. However, the current trajectory and growth of X remain somewhat enigmatic.

In a blog post, X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, presented several statistics to highlight the platform’s achievements. According to Yaccarino:

– X boasts over 500 million monthly active users.

– Users collectively spend a staggering 7.8 billion active minutes within X each day.

– The average user engages with the app for more than 32 minutes daily.

– Approximately 1.5 million new accounts are created on X daily.

– X has successfully lured back all major ad agencies that previously paused their advertising on the platform.

– Among X’s top 100 ad spenders from a year ago, 90 have resumed their ad campaigns.

However, a multitude of third-party analyses and reports cast doubt on these statistics. For instance, data from SimilarWeb (published by Axios) indicates that X’s monthly active user count has actually fallen by 14.8% globally and 17.8% in the U.S. year-over-year for the month of September. These figures contradict X’s claims of having 500 million monthly users. Data from Apptopia also reveals a decline in X’s usage and downloads since the platform rebranded to X in July.

As a private company, X retains exclusive access to its complete dataset. This exclusive data oversight muddies the waters, as external analyses and insights, though indicative, cannot offer a comprehensive view. This situation raises legitimate questions regarding the credibility of X’s claims.

Concerning the average time spent on the app per day, X reports having 253 million daily active users. However, if users spend 7.8 billion minutes per day on the platform, as indicated by Yaccarino, the actual average time per user would be approximately 30.8 minutes, not the 32 minutes claimed by X.

In conclusion, while X’s leadership endeavors to paint a picture of prosperity, external analyses challenge this narrative. The real test of X’s performance lies ahead, particularly as the banks that funded Elon Musk’s $13 billion acquisition now anticipate substantial losses. Fidelity has even slashed X’s valuation by two-thirds, estimating its worth at around $15 million—a far cry from Musk’s $44 billion purchase price.

This gives way for rivals to grow more rapidly in the text-based social media landscape. Meta recently announced that Threads was nearing 100 million active users.  

Written by Gizem Yılmaz


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