X Users, Ads Plunge Under Musk

The new owner's personal posts are among the few bright spots
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2023 6:10 PM CDT
X Usage Dives After Musk's First Year
Elon Musk poses before his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in May at the Elysee Palace in Paris.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool, File)

With a few exceptions—among them, traffic to Elon Musk's posts—the metrics on the first year of the rebranded Twitter under its new ownership are bad. That's true for the data on users and advertisers, reports Axios. The results indicate that Musk's plan to turn X into an "everything app" is not close to becoming reality, the Wall Street Journal, which also looked at third-party measurements, points out. Despite the slides, Musk, who took Twitter private when he bought it, recently posted that X is "growing fast."

Monthly active users fell 14.8% globally and 17.8% in the US last month over September 2022. The number of users who stopped using the app rose more than 30% from the figures last September. Time spent on the app also slipped. App downloads dropped 38% worldwide and 57% in the US. On the advertising side, Musk conceded last month that X's business was off 60%. CEO Linda Yaccarino has said advertisers are returning, but outside data shows the vast majority of the biggest spenders have left in the past year, per Axios.

Given the numbers, Fidelity estimated in April that the company is worth $15 billion, per Ars Technica, which is a third of what Musk paid for it. That has the seven banks that bankrolled the site's purchase, to the tune of $13 billion, expecting to take a 15% discount on the debt they're still holding. At the end of August, per Axios, Fidelity was holding Twitter at a better than a 61% discount. The data show Musk's personal brand remains a draw, though. Traffic to his posts and profile skyrocketed 96% over September 2022. (More Twitter stories.)

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