Social media app X has fast become a zombified platform

While other social platforms are still growing worldwide, new figures suggest daily usage of Elon Musk’s company has waned

On Monday, a San Francisco judge dismissed a lawsuit taken by social media company X against a nonprofit group that had highlighted a rise in hate speech on the platform since Elon Musk took it over.

US district judge Charles Breyer granted a dismissal request by an online hate watchdog called the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), saying it appeared Musk had targeted it because he didn’t like it, not because he was concerned about its data collection methods.

According to X’s complaint, the CCDH’s “scare campaign” was designed to drive away advertisers.

And that’s Musk’s job. Updated figures from US market intelligence company Sensor Tower will make assuring reading to the broad mainstream of advertisers who have moved on from X. They show that the number of people using X daily in the US is falling.

According to its research, X had 27 million daily active users of its mobile app in the US last month, down 18 per cent from a year earlier and 23 per cent since November 2022, the first full month of Musk’s ownership of the app formerly known as Twitter.

Worldwide, daily active users on the mobile app have dropped to 174 million, it says, down 15 per cent year on year.

Other social media apps managed to grow their global user bases, albeit modestly, during the same period and though all saw declines in the US, none saw falls as steep as X.

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the CCDH’s hate speech findings and X’s daily usership trends are related. But, as Sensor Tower noted, general technical issues may also be a factor.

Although X contends that Sensor Tower’s data understates its popularity, the company has done next to nothing to counteract the general thrust of what its critics claim. It may not be a total zombie platform just yet. But the ongoing exodus of both users and advertisers, and the indifference of the real human accountholders who remain, inevitably furthers the sense that it is on its way to becoming one.

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