Friday, October 27 marks the one-year anniversary of Elon Musk’s decision to buy X.com (formerly Twitter) for $44 billion. The company has seen staggering changes under Musk, including changing the company name, adding pay tiers for verification and general use, bringing back controversial celebrities to the platform who were once banned, and hiring 80% of its workforce. Including ending.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
According to Sensor Tower, downloads have declined 38% since Musk acquired the company and 46 of the top 100 advertisers on the platform have fallen away. Yahoo Finance technology editor Dan Hawley outlines a timeline of events since Musk took over and how the company has performed since those changes.
For more expert insights and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.
Josh Lipton: Friday marks one year of Elon Musk’s ownership of X, formerly known as Twitter. And Dan Hawley is here to take a look at this rocky journey. Donation.
Dan Hawley: That’s right. Elon Musk is there–my cat is also in the shot. I’m just going to walk–
Julie Hyman: Speaking of a rocky ride.
Dan Hawley: Yes. Go ahead, Oscar. He’s not a big X user anymore. He left along with many others when Elon Musk took over. And we have some data from Sensor Tower that they shared with Yahoo Finance. According to him, after the acquisition, the downloads of X have decreased by about 38% as compared to October 2022. So that was the time when the company was acquired. And you’re obviously seeing that kind of decline impacting a lot of things, whether it’s advertising dollars, which appears to be continuing to fall below their original levels.
There is also the idea that US mobile app downloads have leveled off, falling by 57% in September 2023. This is compared to the time when the company was acquired. So we have to give you more information about this data being provided by Sensor Towers, 46 of the top 100 advertisers on X have completely stopped ad spending on the platform. Again, this is according to the two sensor towers.
So besides that, what has Elon Musk done? Well, he’s cut staff drastically. There were some technical problems with the company. They apparently changed the name to X, which is fine of course. And then he also added different levels. So there’s the – the premium plan that you have right now for $8. And there’s talk about how they’ll be a premium plan with half the ads compared to a premium plan with ads. There’s also the idea that you could charge $1 per user to get rid of bots.
They allowed back people who were previously banned for posting inappropriate content on the site. And so it’s kind of the ups and downs of the stage. Look, Twitter has never been a place where people say, you know, I like Twitter. Ever since I’ve been on it, people have been saying they hate it. It seems like that kind of feeling is increasing. And we’re starting to see Elon Musk’s impact on the company this year.
Josh Lipton: Dan Hawley, as always, thanks for the insight.