X’s User Growth is Bumping Its Head on the Ceiling

The Financial Times on Tuesday published some previously unreported figures from X that show its user growth has plateaued.

Photo of Elon Musk
Photo by Ministry of Communications of Brazil via CC BY 2.0

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The Elon bump may be over at X.

The platform formerly known as Twitter has become less of a headline magnet in recent months compared to the explosive period following Musk’s hamfisted acquisition. But just because the news cycle is comparatively calm doesn’t mean everything is going smoothly. The Financial Times on Tuesday published some previously unreported figures from X that show its user growth has plateaued.

I Feel So Unused 

According to the figures put out by the FT, X said its daily active user count (the number of people who open Twitter on a daily basis, a.k.a. masochists) for Q2 of this year was 251 million, marking a 1.6% increase year-over-year. That’s compared to 3.9% growth from 2022 to 2023, the period when Musk took the reins, and 16.6% growth from 2021 to 2022. For its part, X publicly released some user stats on Tuesday claiming that its monthly user numbers have grown 6% year-over-year.

But daily users are more valuable, and app analytics company Sensor Tower told The Daily Upside that specifically on mobile, it thinks the numbers are even worse:

  • “According to Sensor Tower estimates, X worldwide mobile app DAUs [daily active users] have continued to decline materially in the post-acquisition period,” Seema Shah, VP of research and insights at Sensor Tower, told The Daily Upside. Shah said June 2024 saw a 13% decrease in DAUs year-over-year, and a 20% decrease from October 2022 right before Musk bought it. 
  • Shah said possible explanations for the drop in user numbers include “continued user frustration over controversial content and technical issues” as well as a trend toward more TikTok-esque, short-form video leaving X out in the cold.

Friends Again? Part of that “controversial content” comes down to Musk himself, and while he’s shown no sign of kicking his tweet habit, he did recently attempt some diplomacy with advertisers. Last month, Musk and X CEO Linda Yaccarino both attended the advertiser conference at Cannes, reportedly with the goal of courting advertisers — about seven months after he rather crudely told advertisers where they could go if they took issue with the platform’s moderation policies. But Musk’s antics and politics may be a fairly secondary issue if advertisers perceive X as a dead end for user growth.