A sad shell of itself.
The verdict is in.
A year since Elon Musk acquired Twitter — since renamed X — for $44 billion, traffic at the once indispensable social media platform has fallen significantly, according to new analysis from digital marketing firm Similarweb, in the latest sign among many that Musk's tenure as CEO has been a drag.
Comparing September of this year to last year, traffic worldwide dipped 14 percent, while X's ad portal for companies wanting to advertise on the website is also down 16.5 percent, Similarweb reports. The United States, which makes up around a quarter of X traffic, registered a decline of 19 percent over the same period. Other major markets, like Australia and France, have also experienced declines of 17.5 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively.
The mobile version of X also suffered substantial declines in traffic, with a 17.8 percent dip compared to last year.
Curiously, Similarweb pointed out that Musk's X account and his posts experienced the opposite trajectory, with 96 percent traffic growth — a bonkers statistic — which makes sense, since he's the erratic king of this online fiefdom, known to tweak the algorithm of the website so users would see his tweets first.
To some, it's clear why X has suffered declines in traffic numbers since Musk's acquisition. Musk's tolerance of right wing trolls and conspiracy theories have driven away users and advertising dollars. It doesn't help that Musk himself is often the biggest troll on the website.
Besides the rogue's gallery of unhinged conspiracy peddlers, there was that chaotic period this summer when Twitter rate limited how many tweets people could read in a day, or the head scratching turn when Musk rebranded Twitter to X.
The list goes on. But the latest woe that has bedeviled the website is that it's no longer the indispensable place for breaking news, with the latest conflagration in Israel and Gaza throwing its shortcomings into high relief. Misinformation abounds there, and it's become harder to parse who to trust now that anybody can buy a blue check.
The whole situation is sad for users, not to mention anybody who values facts over lies.
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