As Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino test new ways to bring revenue to X, formerly Twitter, third-party data show the social media platform is losing users quickly. SimilarWeb, a company specializing in web traffic analytics, shows X lost over half a billion visitors globally in September alone. Visits dropped 10 percent last month to 5.8 billion from 6.4 billion in August. The platform saw user decline in over 140 countries (out of 176) where it operated.
The drop in traffic is an ongoing trend for Musk’s X. Business consulting firm VentureSmarter estimated that monthly Google searches for the platform went down to 11 million in September from 14 million a year ago, right before Musk took it over. Observer attempted to reach X’s press team but didn’t get a response by press time. The ongoing decline in visitors could affect Musk’s plans to make X an entirely subscriber-based site.
On Oct. 17, the company announced that it is testing a $1 yearly charge for users to post and engage with other posts on X. Otherwise, the site will only allow users to access the site in view-only mode. This is supposed to combat Twitter’s issue with bots, according to Musk. Today (Oct. 20), he said that two new tiers of X premium subscriptions are coming to the platform soon.
“One is lower cost with all features, but no reduction in ads, and the other is more expensive, but has no ads,” Musk said in a post on X.
X leaders claim Twitter could turn a profit in early 2024
Musk and Yaccarino, X’s CEO, have disputed claims that fewer people are using X than before Musk took over. Yaccarino, who became CEO in June, recently told TechCrunch that X sees 500 million new posts daily and generates 100 billion impressions.
They have also commented on X’s revenue loss under Musk’s ownership. Yaccarino said the platform is “just about [to] break even” at Vox Media’s Code conference on Sept. 27. She also said the company should be cash flow positive in early 2024.
X’s ad revenue has gone down each month since Musk’s takeover. Musk disclosed in September X’s U.S. advertising revenue was down 60 percent since he bought the company. He blamed the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a nonprofit group that works to combat antisemitism, saying that the group pressured advertisers out of working with the platform.
Our US advertising revenue is still down 60%, primarily due to pressure on advertisers by @ADL (that’s what advertisers tell us), so they almost succeeded in killing X/Twitter!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 4, 2023