X Shares New Insights into Platform Usage and Engagement

The platform formerly known as Twitter has provided some updated usage stats, which are very similar to the same data points that it’s been promoting for months, but may provide some additional context as to where Elon Musk’s X project is at, and what type of performance it’s currently seeing.

Across a series of posts, X has shared updates on usage, engagement, job posts, video views and more. And while they are interesting, there are also quite a few contradictory data notes, which raise more questions as to the accuracy of what X is reporting.

Here’s a look at the data X has shared, along with notes on growth versus previous reports.

  • X has 250 million daily active users – X originally reported reaching 250 million daily actives in November 2022, so it’s apparently seen no growth in daily actives in 16 months.
  • X has 550 monthly active users In March 2023, Elon claimed that X had reached a new milestone of 500 million monthly users, then in October 2023, it reported the exact same figure for MAU. It’s now added an extra 50 million, seemingly between October and now, which is equivalent to 10 million new users per month. 
  • Users spend 30 minutes a day on X, on average, while X is also seeing over 8 billion daily active user minutes, on average, so far in 2024 – These two figures just don’t math. 8b divided by 250m daily users is 32 minutes, on average. I don’t know which is correct, but based on the two data points being shared, I’m not confident that X does either (note: this could be due to the variance in reporting between “monetizable” daily active users and overall users).   
  • Daily average of user time spent on X has grown by +13% in 2024, while mobile time spent is up +17% vs. the last six months Nope. Back in October, X reported that users were spending 32 minutes per day in the app, but today it’s reported that this has declined to 30 minutes (or stayed stable at 32 minutes, if you do the math properly). Mobile time could theoretically by up, but that would also mean that desktop usage has declined significantly. So not sure which is right.
  • 1.7 million people join X every day – Which would equate to 51 million people joining per month. As per the above notes, X has added no additional DAU, and only 10m extra monthly actives, per month, over the past 5 months. So if new users are signing up, they’re not sticking around.
  • People on X engage with the brands more than ever – +63% more likes, +20% reposts, +14% views, and +6% more impressions on average – Look, I don’t have any data to prove or disprove this, but third party reports suggest that brand engagement on X has declined slightly over the past two years.
  • So far in 2024, there have been over 59 billion searches on X around the world – Back in 2016, Twitter was reportedly facilitating 2.1 billion searches per day, and given that 77 days have passed in 2024, that would mean that X is seeing far less search activity than it had been. Even in 2011, Twitter was facilitating 1.6 billion searches per day, which would equates to 123 billion over 77 days, more than double what X has reported here.  
  • There are more than 8 billion video views per day on average – a +43% increase from last year – Yeah, this one is probably not right. In 2020, Twitter was seeing 2 billion videos views per day, which, at that time, represented a 62% YoY video consumption increase. To reach 8 billion, in three years, it essentially would have to have doubled that amount, every year. Which seems unrealistic (note: Twitter reported that it was seeing 3.5b video views per day in 2022, so it was still 4.5b off this figure just two years back). A key consideration here is that X has been mixing its post impression and video view counts at different times, which could have skewed this data point.  
  • More than 5 million Spaces have been created in 2024 – This is actually well down on what X reported in December last year, when it shared that it was hosting 560k Spaces sessions a week. 5 million, divided by 11 weeks in 2024, is 454, 545 Spaces per week. Which is still a lot, but momentum is apparently slowing, not growing.
  • Time spent on Communities has grown +600% in the past year – X reported in January that there are now over 350,000 communities on X, with around 650,000 community posts created daily. Twitter didn’t share any official stats on Communities usage, so there’s no direct comparison for this data point.
  • 1 million jobs have been posted via X Hiring, with job posts up +556% over the last 90 days – X reported this recently, though more interesting would be the amount of hires as a result of these listings.
  • The top four conversation topics on X in 2023 were sports, gaming, music and food – Many people have established, long-standing communities on X, and have remained attached to the app, despite recent disruptions.

It’s difficult to measure the true performance of X, and match that against the potential benefit for your business, because it all relates to your audience, and where the people that you’re trying to reach are active.

If they’re on X, then these overall numbers probably don’t matter a heap, but it is surprising that X continues to share data points like this as indicators of its ongoing success, when most are either flat or in decline.

What does that mean for X’s overall popularity?

Well, based on third party data, most reports indicate that X has seen a decline in usage in the low teens since 2022.

But X says that everything’s fine, and Elon has said that the vast majority of advertisers are coming back to the app, after many paused their X ad spend.

We’ll find out, at some stage, when X’s financial performance gets shared.

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