In a recent interview at Vox Media’s Code 2023 event, X CEO Linda Yaccarino revealed some concerning statistics about the platform’s daily active users. Under Elon Musk’s leadership, X, formerly known as Twitter, has experienced a decline in daily active users of tens of millions or 11.6 percent. Yaccarino shared that the company currently has 225 million daily active users, down from 254.5 million before Musk acquired the company. Even after revising the number to 245 million, X still saw a loss of millions of daily active users. Despite this, X has reported a record 550 million monthly active users. The significance of the growth under Musk’s leadership is unclear, as Twitter stopped reporting this metric in 2019. Additionally, Musk has shifted focus to his own made-up metric of “unregretted user minutes.”
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X’s Declining Daily Active Users
Confirmation from CEO Linda Yaccarino
By now, you may have heard about Elon Musk’s handpicked CEO for X, Linda Yaccarino, and her disastrous interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin at Vox Media’s Code 2023 event. However, somewhat overlooked amid some of the more viral moments of the discussion, Yaccarino dropped some previously unknown stats that don’t exactly paint such a rosy picture for the company:
X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is losing daily active users under the leadership of Elon Musk.
Speaking at Vox Media’s Code 2023 event earlier this week, X CEO Linda Yaccarino shared that the company currently has 225 million daily active users – a decline in tens of millions or 11.6 percent of users from just before Musk acquired the company.
Previous stats and decline percentage
According to a series of tweets that Musk himself posted in November of last year, Twitter had 254.5 million daily active users the week before his takeover in late November of last year.
Following the conference, X revised its daily active user count to 245 million daily active users, according to The Information. Before specifically saying X had 225 million active users, Yaccarino previously cited “200 to 250 million daily active users earlier in the interview.
However, even X’s revised number of 245 million daily active users would still see X lose millions or around 3.7 percent of daily active users from before Musk’s acquisition. In fact, compared to the aforementioned 259.4 million daily active user metric, X has shed nearly 15 million users – a drop of roughly 5.6 percent.
Comparison to Pre-Acquisition Numbers
Loss of millions of daily active users
It’s evident that X has experienced a significant loss in daily active users since Elon Musk took over as CEO. The decline in user count is quite alarming, with tens of millions of users no longer actively using the platform. This decline raises concerns about the company’s ability to retain and engage its user base under Musk’s leadership.
Percentage drop in user count
When comparing the pre-acquisition numbers to the current numbers, it becomes evident that X’s daily active user count has seen a substantial decrease. The decline represents a percentage drop of around 11.6 percent. Losing such a significant portion of its user base is undoubtedly a cause for concern for X.
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Monetizable Daily Active Users (mDAU)
Importance of mDAU metric for Twitter
Twitter has long relied on its monetizable daily active users (mDAU) metric as a key performance indicator for the platform. This metric measures the number of users who can be reached by advertising and other monetization efforts. Thus, it provides a more accurate representation of the platform’s potential revenue-generating capabilities.
History of sharing this metric
Twitter has been transparent about sharing its mDAU metric for quite some time. The company recognized that daily active user numbers were more favorable for the company when shared with investors and shareholders. This transparency has allowed stakeholders to assess Twitter’s growth potential and evaluate its performance in generating revenue.
Favorable numbers for the company
Despite the decline in daily active users, X’s monetizable daily active user count still reflects favorable numbers for the company. By focusing on this metric, X can demonstrate its ability to attract and engage users who are more likely to contribute to the platform’s monetization efforts. While the decline in overall user count is concerning, the company can find solace in the favorable mDAU figures.
Focus on Communities Feature
Shifting conversation to Communities feature
When questioned about user metrics during the interview, Yaccarino redirected the conversation to focus on X’s Communities feature. This feature, which is the company’s answer to Facebook Groups, has seen an increase in engagement and time spent by users since its introduction in June. By emphasizing the Communities feature, X aims to highlight its efforts in fostering user engagement and creating a sense of community within the platform.
Increase in engagement and time spent
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Monthly Active Users (MAU)
Record 550 million monthly active users
Along with the daily active user metrics, Yaccarino also shared that X now has a record 550 million monthly active users. This number reflects the total count of users who engage with the platform on a monthly basis. Despite the decline in daily active users, the increase in monthly active users suggests that X still manages to attract a considerable user base, albeit with varying levels of engagement.
Comparison to previous metric shared by Musk
It is unclear how much of the monthly active user growth has occurred under Musk’s leadership compared to the company’s performance before his takeover. In 2019, Twitter stopped reporting this metric and shifted its focus to the daily active user count. The last publicly reported monthly active user metric from Twitter indicated that the platform had 321 million monthly active users. The comparison between this previous metric and the current record 550 million monthly active users provides insight into the platform’s growth trajectory.
Uncertainty about growth under Musk
While X may currently boast a record number of monthly active users, there remains uncertainty about its growth potential under Elon Musk’s leadership. The decline in daily active users raises questions about the company’s ability to retain and engage its user base in the long term. Only time will tell how Musk’s vision and strategies will impact X’s growth and user metrics in the future.
Shift in Metrics by Musk
Introduction of ‘unregretted user minutes’
Elon Musk has introduced an alternative metric called “unregretted user minutes” to gauge user engagement on X. While the specifics of this metric are unclear, it suggests that Musk is exploring different ways of measuring user activity and value. By focusing on user minutes, Musk aims to assess the quality of user interactions and the level of satisfaction users derive from their time spent on the platform.
Musk’s preference for alternative metrics
Elon Musk’s shift away from traditional metrics like daily and monthly active users in favor of alternative metrics demonstrates his unconventional approach to evaluating X’s performance. By introducing and emphasizing these alternative metrics, Musk aims to provide a different perspective on user engagement and the impact of X on users’ lives. However, the extent to which these alternative metrics accurately reflect the platform’s success remains to be seen.
In conclusion, X’s declining daily active users under Elon Musk’s leadership poses challenges for the platform. The loss of millions of users and the percentage drop in user count indicate a need for X to reassess its strategies and find ways to regain and retain its user base. However, the focus on monetizable daily active users and the positive growth in engagement within X’s Communities feature offer glimpses of hope for the platform’s future. As X continues to navigate this transition, the performance metrics will likely evolve, providing a better understanding of the company’s growth trajectory under Musk’s leadership.