WSJ charts show Twitter's steep decline in users and revenue

Twitter owner Elon Musk and his stalwart CEO, Linda Yaccarino, have been sharing rosy news about the platform recently. Musk is very excited about the rise in "user-seconds," one of the few metrics that doesn't make Twitter look like a sewer pipe clogged with a fatberg. And Yaccarino boasts that 90% of Twitter's advertisers, who had previously fled when Twitter became a hangout for incels using Pepe dressed as an SS officer as their profile picture, have now returned.

But The Wall Street Journal today published a slew of data that goes against Musk and Yaccarino's dubious boosterism. "Third-party data are less optimistic," it reports. "X's daily active users via mobile apps dropped by 16% in September compared with the month Musk took over, according to an analysis by research firm Sensor Tower." 

And U.S. ad spending has dropped 54% over the last year, a number that looks even worse when compared to other social media platforms that saw increases in U.S. ad revenue over the same period, like Meta (2%), Pinterest (9%), Reddit (21%), and TikTok (72%). (That last figure explains why Musk is feigning concern that TikTok is "destroying civilization.")

The WSJ did find two metrics on the rise – increases in the number of tweets Musk writes and the views of his tweets:

One example of a prominent user who is posting on X more than before: Musk himself. Since purchasing the company, the billionaire and already-frequent user is engaging even more. Musk has become the most followed person on the platform, and his posts also often ignite controversy among users and advertisers. Earlier this year, after Musk told employees his posts deserved more attention, engineers wrote a piece of code that helped boost his tweets.