How Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover has driven British users away: X has lost almost three MILLION monthly UK visitors this year, figures reveal
Since acquiring the company more than a year ago, Elon Musk has made a number of controversial changes to Twitter.
Aside from changing the name of the app to X, this includes laying off 80% of the company’s workforce and putting the platform’s features behind a paywall.
Now, a report suggests that people in the UK have had enough, with the platform losing nearly three million British users in the past 12 months.
Although the app is still the fourth most popular app in the UK, it lags behind the likes of Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, Ofcom data shows.
Musk himself may also be too controversial for his own good, with ongoing questions surrounding him and his leadership.
Twitter has lost nearly three million British users in the past 12 months, while rival TikTok has gained 4.6 million users.
X, or Twitter as it was known at the time of its acquisition by Elon Musk, has seen a decline in the number of British adult users, according to Ofcom.
X lost 2.9 million monthly users between May 2022 and May 2023, according to Ofcom. Nation online The report released today.
Back in May last year, the total monthly adult audience in the UK was 26.8 million, but by May 2023 that number had fallen to 24 million.
However, the average time daily spent by UK adults on the site rose from six minutes to 10 minutes over the same time period.
Although Musk only acquired Twitter in October 2022, the app “has been seeing a gradual decline in online adult reach in the UK in recent years,” the report says — though Musk is likely to accelerate this.
Jake Moore, a technical expert and security consultant at ESET, blamed Musk’s many controversial decisions in X for the decline in the user base.
“When 80 per cent of the workforce leave for a number of reasons, the knock-on effects are inevitable,” Moore told MailOnline.
“X” has seen a shift in trend where some tweets are not seen by many users and are paid for, verified users are promoted, but people often don’t like the change.
“Trying to force payment for services that were default, like direct messaging for everyone, may be difficult for long-term users to digest.”
Moore also pointed to the strong pull of competing social media platforms, especially TikTok, which focuses more on short videos than text.
Elon Musk (pictured) took over Twitter in October and has just changed the name of the social network to
“Younger users prefer short video platforms which may also support the shift to other social media while offering free features by default and showing more diversity,” he said.
According to Ofcom data, YouTube is the most popular app for British adults with 43.5 million monthly users, although this is down from 43.9 million in May 2022.
This annual gain of 4.6 million users was more than any other app in the top 10, and although TikTok is only in fifth place, it could climb higher than the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
“Video has a much greater reach than small messages,” Moore said.
“Twitter will have to target young people with videos to maintain its audience share.”
Although not in the top 10, another competitor to X is Threads – which Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta company launched in July to rival X and has “generated interest” among Brits, Ofcom says.
In the UK, by the beginning of September, 23 percent of internet users aged 16 or over said they had used Threads.
Topics – closely linked to Instagram – allow users to share text posts up to 500 characters long, as well as links, photos and five-minute videos.
This is a surprisingly high percentage, especially compared to those who said they used X/Twitter (52%), which was first launched in 2006.
The Threads app — closely linked to someone’s Instagram account — became the fastest-downloaded app in history when it was released over the summer.
More than 70 million people downloaded Threads in the two days following its launch on July 5 – a number that reached 150 million within a week.
However, Threads has since lost users, and experts believe it may have trouble replacing X, despite the ongoing controversy surrounding Musk.
Another app that could take users closer to the X is Bluesky, which got a limited release on Android and iOS earlier this year.
Bluesky, which was founded by a team including Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is in beta (invite-only) mode and has 1.8 million registered accounts globally, Ofcom said.
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