Twitter’s top users are posting less since Musk takeover last year, Pew Survey shows

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced changes to the platform’s direct messages feature including the introduction of encryption.

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Twitter’s power users are still coming to the app, but fewer are posting on it since Elon Musk’s acquisition late last year, according to a survey from Pew Research Center.

“The Center’s new analysis of actual behavior on the site finds that the most active users before Musk’s acquisition – defined as the top 20% by tweet volume – have seen a noticeable posting decline in the months after,” the survey’s authors wrote on Wednesday. “These users’ average number of tweets per month declined by around 25% following the acquisition.”

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Additionally, about six in ten U.S. adults who have used Twitter in the past year said they’ve recently taken breaks from the service, and a quarter of the group indicated they will not use Twitter a year from now, the survey said.

The new data underscore the challenges facing Twitter’s incoming CEO, Linda Yaccarino, who will replace Musk. She’ll be taking over the ailing social media service, which has lost a number of advertisers over the past few months on concerns that racist and otherwise inappropriate content has flourished since Musk’s takeover.

Yaccarino, who recently resigned from her position as NBCUniversal global advertising chief, will need to repair relationships with Twitter’s advertisers and get a grasp on content moderation. Musk has slashed the company’s workforce by about 80% to roughly 1,500 employees, getting rid of some people that he should’ve kept, he acknowledged in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” Musk said. “So there’s no question that some of the people who were let go probably shouldn’t have been let go.”

The Pew survey also showed most of Twitter’s content is produced by a small group of power users.

“Since Musk’s acquisition, 20% of U.S. adults on the site have produced 98% of all tweets by this group,” the survey said.

Upon request for comment, Twitter responded with its now customary poop emoji.

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