Twitter rebranded to X earlier this year, and its owner, Elon Musk, says the platform has seen a surge in monthly users. On Friday, the billionaire tweeted that X’s user figures reached a “new high” and shared a graph that showed the latest count as over 540 million. The tweet also noted that those numbers were derived after the removal of many bots.
The news comes as the company goes through organizational changes and looks to boost advertising revenue which has dropped recently. In a post on X about the user figures, Musk also claimed that his team has been working to make Twitter more responsive to users’ needs.
While some advertisers had rushed to abandon Twitter in the early days of its transition to X, the latest data suggests they’re slowly returning. That’s a good sign, but more is needed to keep the app afloat in the long run, particularly as Musk has begun to tighten the site’s rules for what can appear on its pages.
In a series of tweets, the billionaire has begun to limit what can be posted and impose stricter requirements for who can use the verified blue tick feature. The move has met with significant criticism from those worried it could alienate the company’s core base and erode its cultural influence as a trend-setting app.
The changes come as the company tries to expand its ad offerings to help it become cash flow positive in the coming quarters. In April, Musk said the platform was roughly breaking even and would become cash-flow positive in the future as advertisers returned. However, he later revealed that X’s cash flow was still negative because of a nearly 50 percent drop in advertising revenues and a heavy debt load.
As a result, the tech mogul has been frantically making product and policy changes to X to turn around its fortunes. But he has also been criticized for his impulsive moves, including the rebranding to X without a clear roadmap and loosening of content moderation standards that have opened the platform to much sexist, racist, anti-Semitic, and misogynist material.
The rebranding to X is part of an effort by its owners to transform the microblogging app into a super package that can do multiple functions, such as online communication and banking. That vision has yet to go over well with many of Twitter’s original users, who are still waiting to return to the old Twitter. And the arrival of new competitors, like the newly launched Threads app, owned and operated by Meta Platforms, might further tarnish Twitter’s brand. It might face extinction if the company can return its old users.