By now, you may have heard about Elon Musk’s handpicked CEO for X, Linda Yaccarino, and her disastrous interview with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin at Vox Media’s Code 2023 event. However, somewhat overlooked amid some of the more viral moments of the discussion, Yaccarino dropped some previously unknown stats that don’t exactly paint such a rosy picture for the company:
X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, is losing daily active users under the leadership of Elon Musk.
Speaking at Vox Media’s Code 2023 tech conference earlier this week, X CEO Linda Yaccarino shared that the company currently has 225 million daily active users – a decline in tens of millions or 11.6 percent of users from just before Musk acquired the company.
According to a series of tweets that Musk himself posted in November of last year, Twitter had 254.5 million daily active users the week before his takeover in late November of last year.
Following the conference, X revised its daily active user count to 245 million daily active users, according to The Information. Before specifically saying X had 225 million active users, Yaccarinno previously cited “200 to 250 million” daily active users earlier in the interview.
In fact, daily active users are even down from the numbers that Musk shared last year when he was in charge. According to the aforementioned Musk tweet, Twitter had 259.4 million daily active users in mid-November 2022. Compared to the daily active users Twitter was pulling late last year under Musk’s leadership, X has shed nearly 15 million users – a drop of roughly 5.6 percent.
Twitter first started sharing this metric, which the company refers to as monetizable daily active users or mDAU, years before Musk even planned to buy the company. The reason? Twitter’s daily active user numbers were reliably more favorable for the company than its other metrics when it shared its quarterly reports for investors and shareholders.
When Yaccarino was first asked about user metrics during the interview, she seemingly wanted to move away from that particular conversation, saying that X had between 200 and 250 daily active users. She then moved the discussion to the platform’s Communities feature, the company’s answer to Facebook Groups, saying X had 50,000 communities and that engagement numbers and time spent in those communities were up since June.
Along with the daily active user metrics, Yaccarino also shared that X now has a record 550 million monthly active users. This would be up from the 541 million “monthly users” metric that Musk shared in a post in July.
It’s unclear, however, just how much of the monthly active user growth has happened under Musk when compared to how the company was doing prior to his takeover. That’s because in 2019, Twitter stopped reporting this number in favor of the daily active user metric. The company entered that year with 321 million monthly active users, the last publicly reported monthly active user metric directly from Twitter.
It should be noted that Musk has shifted away from both the daily and monthly active user numbers in favor of “unregretted user minutes,” a metric seemingly made-up by Musk.