On November 3, based on Bot Sentinel data, MIT Technology Review reported that Twitter had lost more than 1 million accounts following its Oct. 27 takeover by Elon Musk: 877,000 having deactivated their accounts and another 497,000 suspended between the takeover date and Nov. 1.
On November 7, Musk responded with a tweet accompanied by a chart sharing stats. Musk declared that Twitter’s monetizable daily active users (MDAUs) were actually at an all-time high, having grown by 1.6 million in the past week, to reach 259.4 million — up from 250 million at the start of October.
Twitter reported 237.8 million MDAUs in the second quarter of 2022.
While there hasn’t been an update since Musk’s tweet, research firm Insider Intelligence is weighing in with a projection that the massive changes in Twitter policies under Musk will users to exit in droves by 2024, taking its monthly users down to 2014 levels, at about 50.5 million.
"Users will start to leave the platform next year as they grow frustrated with technical issues and the proliferation of hateful or other unsavory content," predicts Jasmine Enberg, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence.
The researcher also predicts that Twitter's revenue growth will be flat for the next two years — not just because of advertisers pulling back on investment due to concerns about brand safety, but also because slashing the workforce by half has left Twitter struggling to implement new offerings that can help drive user engagement.
In the past few days, Musk’s latest in a seemingly endless series of controversial changes have included entirely disbanding the platform’s Trust and Safety Council.
In addition, he launched a Twitter campaign against Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth, who resigned in November in protest of Musk’s changes in content policies and moderation.
Roth reportedly had to leave his home after threats to his safety escalated as Musk tweeted a message seeming to link Roth to a conspiracy theory, falsely suggesting that the former Twitter executive is sympathetic to pedophilia.
Roth had already faced threats after Bari Weiss and Matt Taibbi published internal internal Twitter Communications (the so-called “Twitter Files”) supplied to them by Musk.
Critics, including Musk, asserted that the messages showed that Roth was biased against then-President Donald Trump, even as he was involved in making decisions such as whether to suspend Trump’s account in 2021 based on Twitter policy violations.
While Roth was still working for Twitter in October, Musk tweeted that while Roth, like everyone who uses Twitter, had “made some questionable tweets, my sense is that he has high integrity, and we are all entitled to our political beliefs.”