Exclusive: Twitter is losing its most active users, internal documents show

Oct 25 (Reuters) – “Is Twitter dying?” billionaire Elon Musk mused in April, five days before supplying to get the social media system.

The truth, according to interior Twitter (TWTR.N) study seen by Reuters, goes significantly further than the handful of illustrations of famous people ghosting their personal accounts. Twitter is struggling to keep its most active consumers – who are important to the enterprise – engaged, underscoring a problem confronted by the Tesla (TSLA.O) chief government as he techniques a deadline to near his $44 billion offer to get the enterprise.

These “hefty tweeters” account for considerably less than 10% of month to month general customers but produce 90% of all tweets and fifty percent of world income. Hefty tweeters have been in “absolute decline” given that the pandemic began, a Twitter researcher wrote in an interior document titled “Where did the Tweeters Go?”

A “weighty tweeter” is defined as someone who logs in to Twitter 6 or 7 times a week and tweets about 3 to four situations a 7 days, the document said.

The exploration also observed a shift in passions over the past two several years between Twitter’s most lively English-speaking consumers that could make the platform significantly less interesting to advertisers.

Cryptocurrency and “not safe and sound for do the job” (NSFW) information, which includes nudity and pornography, are the optimum-expanding subjects of fascination among the English-speaking large consumers, the report identified.

At the identical time, curiosity in news, sporting activities and amusement is waning amongst those users. Tweets on all those subjects, which have served Twitter burnish an image as the world’s “electronic town sq.,” as Musk as soon as referred to as it, are also the most attractive for advertisers.

Twitter to specify how quite a few of its tweets are in English or declined how a great deal cash it would make from English speakers. But the demographic is vital to Twitter’s organization, some analysts say.

The platform acquired far more advert profits from the United States alone than all other markets blended in its fourth quarter, according to its investor letter, and most ads in the United States are likely targeting English-talking end users, mentioned Jasmine Enberg, an analyst at Insider intelligence.

Twitter’s analyze examined the range of major tweeters in English who displayed an desire in a matter, primarily based on the accounts they followed, and how that number of people altered over the previous two decades.

Twitter was inspired to investigate “disturbing” developments amongst end users that may have been masked by all round progress in daily lively consumers and improved recognize the decline in the company’s most energetic consumers, the files mentioned. The analyze made no particular conclusions about why heavy consumers of the system are declining.

Requested to remark on the internal documents’ results, a Twitter spokesperson reported on Monday: “We routinely carry out investigation on a extensive wide variety of traits, which evolve based mostly on what is going on in the entire world. Our all round audience has ongoing to increase, achieving 238 million mDAU in Q2 2022,” the spokesperson explained, employing an acronym for monetizable everyday energetic users.

‘NOT Safe and sound FOR WORK’ Material

The selection of weighty customers intrigued in NSFW and cryptocurrency content grew, the analysis uncovered.

Twitter is one of the couple main social media platforms that permits nudity on its assistance, and the business has believed that adult content constitutes 13% of Twitter, according to a separate internal slide presentation seen by Reuters. The presentation did not elaborate on how the determine was calculated.

Advertisers commonly steer very clear of controversy or nudity for anxiety of damaging their manufacturers. Major advertisers together with Dyson, PBS Young ones and Forbes suspended advertising and marketing due to accounts that ended up soliciting kid pornography on Twitter, Reuters reported in September.

In reaction to the September story, Twitter explained it “has zero tolerance for baby sexual exploitation” and was investing far more methods into its do the job versus this kind of product.

Twitter’s most energetic English-talking people had been also significantly interested in cryptocurrencies, achieving an all-time substantial in late 2021, the internal documents showed. But curiosity in the subject has declined considering the fact that the crypto rate crash in June, and the examine noted cryptocurrencies may perhaps not be an spot of ​​growth in the long run.

Present and previous Twitter workforce who spoke with Reuters mentioned they feared Musk’s calls for considerably less information moderation and his noted programs to gut the staff members, which they claimed will exacerbate the deterioration of the top quality of content.


Subject areas that have traditionally manufactured Twitter a popular platform for its tens of millions of customers are now in decrease amid the most energetic English-speaking users, the files present.

Curiosity in planet news, as nicely as liberal politics, showed spikes through main events these kinds of as the attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. But the classes have due to the fact shed the optimum variety of significant Twitter users and have demonstrated no signals of recovery, the report claimed.

Twitter is also shedding a “devastating” percentage of heavy buyers who are interested in fashion or stars this kind of as the Kardashian loved ones. These buyers are likely decamping to rival platforms like Meta Platform’s (META.O) Instagram and ByteDance’s TikTok, a Twitter researcher wrote.

The review also expressed shock about the decrease in fascination for e-sports activities and on the net streaming personalities, which were being previously growing swiftly throughout Twitter. “The significant communities are now in decrease,” the report stated.

“It appears as while there is a significant discrepancy in between what I may possibly envision are our business values ​​and our progress styles,” just one Twitter researcher wrote.

Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas Modifying by Kenneth Li and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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