Twitter has seen better days, according to a report from Reuters, which cites the social media company’s own research.
The platform is apparently hemorrhaging its most active users, with heavy tweeters in “absolute decline” since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, based on an internal document reportedly titled “Where did the Tweeters Go?”
“Heavy tweeters,” make up less than 10% of the site’s monthly users, but produce about 90% of all the content and half of the company’s revenue, according to Reuters. The company reportedly defines these posters as those who log onto Twitter daily or near-daily and tweet about three to four times weekly (which, admittedly, seems like a low bar.)
The losses in frequent tweeters could spell trouble for a company already in turmoil. Without their content on the site, Twitter could struggle to attract and maintain advertising contracts.
Plus, on top of the decline of peak poster numbers, the type of content on the site seems to be shifting too. Cryptocurrency and “not safe for work” material (i.e. porn) are apparently the fastest-growing interest sectors among frequent English-speaking users of the platform. Unfortunately for Twitter’s finances, porn and crypto-bro posts are difficult to monetize.
The proliferation of blockchain scams likely makes advertisers hesitant to associate with the topic, and many companies don’t want to advertise anywhere near nudity. Conversely, interest in more easily monetized sectors like news, sports, entertainment, and fashion seems to be slipping.
In response to the alleged internal document leak, a Twitter spokesperson told Reuters, “We regularly conduct research on a wide variety of trends, which evolve based on what’s happening in the world. Our overall audience has continued to grow, reaching 238 million [monetizable daily active users] in Q2 2022.” And though it’s true that the company has had a recent uptick in users, it reported a decrease in revenue and was operating at a $344 million loss as of July. Gizmodo reached out to Twitter via email for comment but did not immediately hear back.
The company is, of course, still in the middle of negotiating a tumultuous acquisition by the world’s richest man, Elon Musk. On Monday, Musk re-affirmed to investors that he intends to close the deal by the Friday deadline.