Twitter says user growth has rebounded since Elon Musk took over

Twitter said user growth was “accelerating” and reached an “all-time high” during Elon Musk’s first week at the helm of the company, as it tries to reassure advertisers after a growing number have halted their spending on the social media platform since its takeover.

In an email sent on Monday to some advertisers and seen by the Financial Times, Twitter said growth in monetized daily active users (mDAUs) — a local metric that counts the number of logged-in users the platform is offering. Advertising – hitting “all-time highs” last week, accelerating to 20 per cent, from 15 per cent in the second quarter.

“Twitter’s largest market, the United States, is growing most rapidly,” the email read. Musk closed the deal to buy the platform for $44 billion on October 27.

Since the second quarter ended on June 30, the company has added more than 15 million pharma units that “crossed the quarter-billion mark,” the email said. Twitter reported 237.8 million MDAU, up nearly 17 percent year-over-year, in the second quarter, its final earnings as a public company.

On Monday, Musk wrote on the platform: “Twitter usage is at an all-time high. I hope the servers don’t melt!”

It comes as Musk seeks to refute fears that users have fled the platform after its takeover, despite pledges from several high-profile celebrities to move elsewhere and increase user numbers on Twitter’s alternative, Mastodon.

Musk faces a battle to persuade major brands such as General Motors, Mondelez, Carlsberg, United Airlines, Volkswagen and General Mills to resume advertising, with Twitter relying on advertising for the majority of its revenue.

The companies have halted marketing over concerns that Musk, who describes himself as the “absolute of free speech,” will blunt content moderation and undo the permanent ban on abuse.

Twitter also said in the email that brand advertisers will “now have an additional ‘official’ designation under their name upon the relaunch of Twitter Blue this week.” [Wednesday]according to an email on Monday.

It’s introducing a new version of its Twitter Blue premium subscription service for $7.99, which will allow users to pay for “Blue Tick” checks that are currently only available to businesses, politicians, celebrities and journalists.

The Verge first reported Twitter user growth data. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Musk’s relationship with advertisers became increasingly fraught during his first week in charge of the company.

The billionaire, who also runs Tesla and SpaceX, had previously said he wouldn’t change Twitter’s content policies until it convenes a new content moderation board with “broadly diverse views,” and made calls early last week to reassure advertisers that the platform would not become “A free hell arena for all.”

On Friday, Musk claimed that Twitter “has seen a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressure on advertisers, even though nothing has changed with moderation and we’ve done everything we can to keep activists happy.”

He posted a poll on Twitter asking whether advertisers should support free speech or political “rightness,” and threatened “the thermonuclear name and shame” of brands who pulled ads “if this continues.”

Many ad executives and ad brands were also concerned about Musk’s move to fire half the company’s employees, according to people familiar with the matter, affecting trust, safety and ad sales teams. Others pointed to the resignation last week of Sarah Personnet, Twitter’s chief customer officer, who had been the company’s main point of contact.

Customers ‘caution’ [and] One ad agency executive said, adding that many others are quietly stopping.

“Threats don’t make you like advertisers,” another ad executive said.

Additional reporting by Claire Bushey in Chicago

VIDEO: Elon Musk talks in a May interview with the Financial Times about Twitter, Tesla and Trump

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