X usage declines, despite CEO claims of all-time high

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A report from market intelligence firm Similarweb is throwing cold water on claims from X (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino that usage of the social network was at an all-time high this summer. The report found that X usage has actually declined on all fronts, across both web and mobile.

According to the report, X’s global website traffic was down 14% year-over-year in September, and U.S. traffic was down by 19%. On mobile devices in the U.S., performance had also declined 17.8% year-over-year. Declines in usage were also visible in other countries, including the U.K., France, Germany, and Australia.

The report notes that X’s usage decline is part of a broader shift in the social media landscape. Web traffic to the top 100 social networks and online communities tracked by Similarweb was down by 3.7% in September, save TikTok, which grew 22.8% on a global basis. On mobile, X’s monthly active users declined by 17.8% in September, compared with Facebook and Instagram, down by 8% and 3.7%, respectively.

The report also touches on the declining importance of X in the news ecosystem. Three years ago, The New York Times would receive 3-4% of its traffic from X, but that’s now down to less than 1%. NPR left the platform six months ago after Musk began labeling it and other outlets as “state-affiliated media.”

A report from Nieman indicates NPR’s loss of traffic from leaving X has been “negligible” — traffic only dropped by a single percentage point, where it used to account for just under 2% of overall traffic.

“Somehow the X / Twitter audience has eroded but not evaporated,” wrote Similarweb’s Senior Insights Manager David Carr.

The sources for this piece include an article in TechCrunch.

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