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Elon Reports Record-High Monthly Active Usage of X, Amid Rising Competition from Threads

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Elon Reports Record-High Monthly Active Usage of X, Amid Rising Competition from Threads

X/Twitter may have just reached a new user high, with owner Elon Musk sharing this chart of the app’s monthly users.

Yeah, there’s not a lot of detail to go on, as Musk has intentionally left off the X axis (ironic). But according to Elon at least, X is thriving, despite rising competition, and reports of a broader user exodus, as Musk continues to re-shape the platform formerly known as Twitter into his vision for an ‘everything app’.

Which, of course, now includes a full re-brand, with all the ‘Twitter’ and bird references steadily being removed from the platform. The latest on this front is that the X icon is now appearing for some users on mobile, which is a significant step in the reformation of the app, and the realignment towards Elon’s new offering.

Like it or not, X is coming, and while most reportage has suggested that interest in the app is taking a hit as a result, Musk’s data suggests that this is not actually the case, with more people seemingly logging in to check out the latest updates.

Though at the same time, Elon’s actually developing a pretty clear pattern for how he responds to negative news cycles about the app.

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Back in November, after his initial takeover of Twitter, many analysts questioned how cutting 80% of the company’s staff would impact usage. Musk responded by declaring that user numbers had ‘increased significantly around the world since the deal was announced’.

Shortly after this, Elon told then-Twitter staff that the company could slide into bankruptcy due to the state of its overall performance, which triggered another flood of negative reports about the app.

Musk’s response:

New user sign-ups reached an all-time high, part of another round of positive usage indicators shared by Elon and Co.

The same pattern was evident again earlier this month, following the launch of Meta’s Twitter clone app Threads.

Amid the early hype, which saw 100 million people signing up within days of the launch, Musk shared this:

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And now, with the platform in the midst of a sudden re-brand, and Threads reportedly seeing more engagement as a result (note: Threads also added a ‘Following’ feed this week), Musk has again come out with some new record-high usage figure, which is seemingly a means to reassure advertisers that his app is actually doing fine, despite what would appear to be harmful shifts.

But I don’t know, I’m not sure that I trust the numbers coming out of X HQ.

As you may recall, in July last year, as Elon sought to wriggle out of his $44 billion offer for the app, Musk’s legal team argued that Twitter wasn’t actually worth all that money due to the high amount of bot profiles that it had included in its active user figures.

Previous Twitter management had long held that the number of fake profiles in the app did not exceed 5% of its total mDAU count, based on its own sampling. But Musk claimed that it was actually much higher than this, with his own analysis showing that up to  33% of then-active Twitter profiles were fakes.

Elon eventually settled on it being a more modest 20% of Twitter’s total user count, (while noting that it was likely much higher). But even at 20%, that would mean that, at the time, 50 million Twitter users were actually bots, at the least, according to Musk and his team.

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Yet, since Elon’s taken over at the app, he seems to have completely forgotten about these findings. Twitter has since added 15 million more daily actives to its total mDAU count, with Musk reporting that the app now has 252 million mDAU, which is on top of his new team removing bots and combating spam.

So, based on Elon’s own math, if he’s removed all the bots (50 million profiles) and added 15 million new users, that would mean that Twitter/X has added 65 million new, real human users in less than a year. That’s astronomically high growth for an app that’s struggled to build its audience over time.

It’s possible, I guess, but very unlikely, while the jump to 540 million monthly users is also a big, big leap from the 368 million MAU that Twitter was reported to have last year.

When you also add to this the reports that Elon oversaw a program designed to mislead Tesla drivers about battery range, has repeatedly over-promised on the availability of self-driving, and proposed his Hyperloop project to delay a potential high-speed rail project (and sell more cars), among other campaigns of misinformation, it’s hard to fully trust the data that he posts from his X account.

So maybe this is true, maybe X has seen dramatic and frankly unbelievable growth in the face of rising challenges. But as you can tell, I’m personally pretty skeptical about it.

How you feel about the same is down to your interpretations of Musk and his actions, but essentially, X may be growing at a very strong rate, despite repeated proclamations of its death.

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 Maybe that influences your usage of the app.



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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