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X Growth Reportedly Slows Since Musk Takeover

User growth at X has reportedly slowed since Elon Musk’s takeover in 2022.

As the Financial Times (FT) reported Tuesday (July 9), the social media platform once known as Twitter is dealing with new competition from Meta-owned Threads, while Musk’s presence continues to be divisive.

The report cites “previously unreleased” figures from X showing its number of global daily active users in the second quarter of this year at 251 million, up 1.6% from the same quarter in 2023. The company had seen double-digit growth in the years leading up to Musk’s $44 billion acquisition in October 2022.

Since then,  the report says, advertisers have left the platform, in part due to Musk’s “free speech absolutism” philosophy and his removal of most of the site’s content moderators. Musk has said “drastic action” was required to cut costs. His critics counter that he has turned the platform into a more toxic place.

PYMNTS has contacted X for comment but has not yet gotten a reply.

Meanwhile, X is vying for users with Threads, which launched last July as a Twitter alternative, and marked its anniversary last week by announcing it had reached 175 million monthly active users. (X says it has 600 million, the FT report notes.)

When Threads attracted 10 million sign-ups in the first seven hours after its debut, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he envisioned the platform eventually reaching a much higher number.

“There should be a public conversations app with 1 billion-plus people on it,” he said. “Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.”

Zuckerberg said during Meta’s earnings call in April that Threads had more than 150 million monthly active users and was “growing well.”

The FT report also points out — citing data from Similarweb — that engagement on X has been sliding in spite of national elections in America, France and the U.K. According to the report, X denied these figures, saying its monthly users rose significantly in the U.S. and U.K. between August of 2023 and June this year, but did not offer specific figures.

Last month saw a report by Bloomberg News detailing X’s efforts to launch its payments product. Included were some financial documents highlighting the company’s struggles since Musk took over. They show that X generated $1.48 billion in revenue in the first six months of last year, down nearly 40% from the same period in 2022. The company lost $456 million in the first quarter of 2023.