X Sees Massive Decline In Users, Advertisers Under Musk's Ownership

It is widely known that X, formerly known as Twitter, has experienced a major decline in ad rates and advertisers on the platform under billionaire Elon Musk’s ownership, but it is now becoming clear that the microblogging app has also suffered losses in app downloads and user engagement.

According to data collected by Similarweb and Sensor Tower and reported on by Axios, X’s app downloads fell about 38% across the globe over the last year, with mobile app downloads falling 57% between October 2022 and September 2023. 

Axios says numbers from Data.AI, another app tracking firm, also show engagement metrics down across the board.



Global usage on Android fell almost 15%, with U.S. mobile usage falling almost 18% compared to September 2022. In the third quarter of 2023, average daily time spent per user on X also dropped 2% year-over-year across the globe. 

In addition, the users who stopped using the app under Musk’s reign increased over 30%, with web traffic down 7% globally and 11.6% in the U.S. for the first nine months of 2023.

While other social networks have also experienced a drop in usage and engagement over the past year, the trend on X appears to be much worse, whereas some apps have actually increased their traffic, like TikTok, which saw a 22.8% year-over-year boost in September.

TikTok is also experiencing the fastest year-over-year growth in ad rates, with a 12.28% increase in CPM in 2023 compared to 2022, and a 90% increase in CPMs since 2021, according to data provided by Gupta Media. 

Comparably, X’s advertising rates have plunged 78% since the platform was purchased by Musk in April 2022, dropping as low as $0.32 CPM in August 2023, which marks a three-year-low.

Insider Intelligence estimates that X’s ad business will only bring in $2.9 billion in 2023, compared to over $4 billion in 2022.

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