Is Twitter Dying? Should Activists Still Use the Platform?

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While Elon Musk’s recent purchase of Twitter sparked massive outrage among liberal activists and media personalities, it doesn’t look like the bad press negatively impacted the platform. New data show Twitter usage is at an all-time high. Musk’s acquisition of Twitter may prove that Free Speech is still alive in America. But does that mean brands and activists should remain on the platform?

Critics of Musk’s new direction predicted waves of users would leave over “content” moderation concerns. The Guardian gleefully reported over 30 million users would leave the platform in the next two years.

So far, users have yet to leave Twitter in the numbers predicted by critics. People are still using the platform and marketers don’t appear to be fleeing either. Musk tweeted in late 2022 that usage of Twitter is at an all-time high. People downloaded the Twitter app in the U.S. at an average rate of 125,000 per day during a 31-day period, which is 23% higher than the previous month.

TechCrunch reported that while alternative platforms showed modest growth during the initial phase of Musk’s Twitter takeover, data shows “Twitter itself was never significantly impacted, at least in terms of new app installs.” While the platform may have lost some users to more niche alternatives, Twitter has made up for those departures with new user growth.

So, what does this mean for marketers and other advocacy professionals?  

First, Twitter remains a valuable tool for those looking to engage and shape the messaging around prevalent issues. Journalists and “grasstops” leaders remain engaged on the platform. The new user numbers mean even more opportunities to spread your message. In fact, Twitter has even announced plans to “lift” its ban on political advertising, providing even more opportunities for you and/or your organization to get the message out. You will be able to boost your organic reach with paid messaging. 

Second, and most importantly, the events surrounding Twitter prove why it’s even more vital for you and/or your organization to have ownership over your audiences. You cannot take the underlying data about your followers off these social media platforms, so start urging your supporters to sign up for your email and text messaging programs. Remain active on social media, but find ways to encourage your supporters to visit channels you control. 

As political technologist Eric Wilson says, “Effective digital marketing efforts are rooted in the idea of building and nurturing owned audiences. This means investing in your own email lists, web properties, and other channels that you control.”

I’m curious to know what you think. Leave a comment below!