Twitter’s daily user growth hit “all-time highs” during the first full week of Elon Musk owning the platform, according to a company document obtained by The Verge.
Since Musk’s dramatic takeover, Twitter’s monetizable daily user (mDAU) growth has accelerated to more than 20 percent, while “Twitter’s largest market, the US, is growing even more quickly,” according to an internal FAQ obtained by The Verge that was shared with Twitter’s sales team on Monday to use in conversations with advertisers. Per the FAQ, Twitter has added more than 15 million mDAUs, “crossing the quarter billion mark” since the end of the second quarter, when it stopped reporting financials as a public company.
If those numbers are in line with how Twitter reported metrics when it was public, they imply that the service has yet to see a mass exodus under Musk’s ownership. He tweeted on Sunday that, since his deal to buy Twitter was announced, “user numbers have increased significantly around the world.” Twitter last reported 237.8 million mDAUs and a 16.6 percent yearly growth rate for the second quarter.
“Levels of hate speech remain within historical norms”
While users may not be fleeing Twitter en masse, advertisers are. In another tweet on Friday, Musk said the company has seen “a massive drop in revenue” due to “activist groups pressuring advertisers.” Reports of a sharp spike in racist and hateful tweets after his takeover initially spooked advertisers, though Twitter said afterward that the influx was due to coordinated “trolling campaigns.” The FAQ for advertisers on Monday says that “levels of hate speech remain within historical norms, representing 0.25% to 0.45% of tweets per day among hundreds of millions.”
Meanwhile, Musk’s gutting of Twitter’s leadership, coupled with the resignation of its top advertising executive, Sarah Personette, has left advertisers wondering who to raise their concerns with. The FAQ was shared inside Twitter on Monday by Alex Josephson, a 10-year company vet who is currently VP of Twitter Next, a team that has helped brands create campaigns on the social network since 2019. His post to the sales team notes that 25 percent of the organization was affected by Musk’s mass layoffs on Friday and that “the decision to scale back our presence in select geographies contributed significantly to the sales reductions.”
Another concern among advertisers has been Musk’s own tweeting, including his now-deleted tweet amplifying a baseless conspiracy theory about the violent attack on Paul Pelosi. “Do the same rules apply to Elon as to everyone else on Twitter?” reads one part of the Twitter advertiser FAQ. The answer is simply, “Yes.”
It also restates Musk’s claim that Twitter won’t change its content moderation policies until it forms and convenes a “content moderation council of widely diverse viewpoints.” It’s unclear if Musk knows that Twitter already has a Trust and Safety Council of outside experts.
Another part of the FAQ highlights how quickly things are changing inside Twitter right now: it says that the coming revamp of the Twitter Blue subscription that introduces paid verification “will not affect existing verified accounts at this time” and that “large brand advertisers who are already verified will now have an additional ‘Official’ label beneath their name upon Twitter Blue’s relaunch this week.”
When Musk first tasked employees with revamping Blue and how verification works, he wanted them to charge $20 a month and require that existing verified accounts pay or lose their checkmark after 90 days. After the author Stephen King and others complained about the price point, Musk quickly lowered the price to $8 a month. And even though he originally said the team building it needed to release the new Blue subscription by November 7th or be fired, its release has now been delayed until after this week’s midterm elections.
A spokesperson for Twitter didn’t have a comment for this story by press time.