X (formerly Twitter) Under Elon Musk's Leadership Sees Decline in Daily Active Users
The recent interview with X CEO Linda Yaccarino at Vox Media's Code 2023 event shed light on concerning statistics for the platform, previously known as Twitter, under Elon Musk's leadership. While much attention has been given to Yaccarino's rocky interview, some crucial numbers have gone somewhat unnoticed.
Yaccarino revealed that X currently has 225 million daily active users, marking a significant decline of tens of millions or 11.6 percent of users compared to the period just before Musk acquired the company.
To put this into context, in November of the previous year, Musk himself had tweeted that Twitter had 254.5 million daily active users right before he took over. Following the recent conference, X revised its daily active user count to 245 million, according to The Information. It's worth noting that during the interview, Yaccarino had mentioned "200 to 250 million" daily active users.
Even with the revised count of 245 million, X has still lost millions, equivalent to approximately 3.7 percent of its daily active users since Musk's acquisition. Furthermore, these figures have declined from the numbers that Musk shared last year under his leadership, with Twitter having 259.4 million daily active users in mid-November 2022. This represents a loss of nearly 15 million users, marking a drop of around 5.6 percent.
Interestingly, Twitter had been sharing these daily active user metrics, referred to as monetizable daily active users (mDAU), well before Musk's involvement. The reason behind this was that these metrics portrayed a more favorable picture for the company compared to other statistics when reporting to investors and shareholders.
When asked about user metrics in the interview, Yaccarino initially seemed reluctant to discuss the topic, citing a range of "200 to 250 million" daily active users. She then shifted the conversation to X's Communities feature, similar to Facebook Groups, stating that X had 50,000 communities, with increased engagement and time spent in these communities since June.
In addition to daily active user metrics, Yaccarino mentioned that X has achieved a record 550 million monthly active users, which appears to be a slight increase from the 541 million "monthly users" metric shared by Musk in a previous post in July.
However, it remains unclear how much of this monthly active user growth occurred under Musk's leadership compared to the period before his takeover. In 2019, Twitter ceased reporting monthly active user numbers in favor of the daily active user metric. At the beginning of that year, the company had 321 million monthly active users, the last publicly disclosed monthly active user metric from Twitter.
Notably, Musk has shifted his focus away from both daily and monthly active user numbers in favor of a new metric he coined as "unregretted user minutes," adding another layer of complexity to the platform's performance evaluation.