Musk Seeks To Revitalize Twitter As User Numbers Fall

Musk is making paid features free to some accounts, as users flee Twitter/X for other platforms.

Can Musk stem the bleeding?

Elon Musk, the tech billionaire who acquired the social media platform formerly known as Twitter (now X) for $44 billion in October 2022, has unveiled sweeping changes that promise to redefine the user experience. Writing on X, Musk revealed that accounts boasting over 2,500 verified subscriber followers will now gain complimentary access to premium features previously priced at $8 (£6.30) per month. Among the coveted premium perks are enhanced post-editing capabilities, extended post lengths, reduced ad exposure, and the prestigious blue verification badge displayed alongside the user's name.

Furthermore, Musk disclosed that accounts with a substantial following of 5,000 or more verified subscribers will enjoy even greater benefits, unlocking X's Premium+ features at no additional cost. This premium tier, which typically commands a monthly fee of $16 (£12.60), grants users exclusive access to Grok, an advanced artificial intelligence model touted as capable of answering virtually any query.

Falling User Numbers

Musk's announcement comes amidst reports suggesting a decline in X's user engagement since his acquisition. Research conducted by data firm Sensor Tower revealed a notable 15% decrease in worldwide daily users of X's mobile app, dropping to 174 million in February compared to the previous year. X's internal data echoed similar trends, indicating a downturn in active daily users since November 2022, raising questions about the platform's trajectory under Musk's leadership.

Musk Recommends Autocopulation To “Blackmailer” Advertisers
It’s unclear how the unorthodox recommendation might revive falling ad revenues at X/Twitter.

Responding to these reports, a spokesperson for X disputed their accuracy, asserting that both proprietary data and self-reported metrics from other platforms paint a more positive picture of X's user base.

While Musk's latest initiative has garnered attention and speculation from users and analysts alike, questions remain regarding its practical implications and eligibility criteria. Some users expressed confusion over whether the announced thresholds pertain to followers or subscribers, seeking clarification on how these changes align with existing subscription models.

Minimum Impact?

Oliver Alexander, an open source intelligence analyst, shed light on the potential impact of Musk's announcement, revealing that only a handful of accounts currently meet the criteria for complimentary access to X's premium offerings. With just a few accounts boasting over 5,000 subscribers and a select few surpassing the 2,500 threshold, the practical ramifications of Musk's initiative may be more limited than initially perceived.

As Musk continues to spearhead transformative changes in the social media landscape, the future of X remains a subject of intense scrutiny and speculation, with users eagerly awaiting further updates and insights into the platform's evolution.

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