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  • Noah Swegarden

The Fall of Twitter (X)

During the mid-2000s to even today social media has been the focal point of millions of people's lives at one point or another. Throughout the years we have watched many social media platforms rise from out of nowhere and then fall just as fast. Through these changes of social media, we have seen three major leaders that are still on top. Facebook, Instagram, and what we know today as X (formerly and what most people still call it: Twitter). All three of these social media giants have been at the top of the mountain for years and up and till recently. Over the last couple years, we have watched X/Twitter fall from its peak from at which it once stood; I’m here today to talk about the downfall of what, at one point, the largest social media platform, and some of the reasons it has occurred. 

In July of 2006 a group would launch what many came to know as Twitter. Twitter would become one of the world’s largest social media platforms, impacting people all around the globe. Pre-pandemic, the number of users on Twitter would peak at around 313 million users. With a majority of the world locked away, Twitter reached heights it hadn’t seen since the mid-2010s. During the Covid-19 Pandemic Twitter had an average of 359.6 million users, which was groundbreaking for the company. These record-breaking numbers set up Twitter owners to look into selling the company they built from the ground up, but little did they know that this sale would be the start of the decline of Twitter. 

After months of controversy and confusion, on October 27th, 2022, former owners would finalize the sale of Twitter to controversial business mogul: Elon Musk. This sale came with mixed opinions from the current users of Twitter along with the opinions of many who didn’t even use the platform. With the completion of the sale, it was a goal of Musk to completely change the landscape that many came to know and love as Twitter. Months after the sale, users would see the first major changes to the platform. Musk would change the name of Twitter to what we’ve known for the last year as X. This would be the first move that would push users away from the platform.  

Alongside the controversial sale and name change, Musk made some terrible public relations decisions when people brought attention to how poorly he was running the platform and how he treated employees. When criticism arose around the mishandling of the platform and employees, instead of properly handling it like normal, through a PR team, Musk would fight back and criticize those who had any negative opinions about him or the platform by posting on his X account for everyone to see. Alongside the improper PR use, users of X also criticized the almost ‘wild west’ aspect of the platform. Hate speech has been spread without any repercussions, explicit images and videos are still being spread without any warnings, and a lot more problems that Musk refused to address as he wanted everyone to have “freedom of speech” and “freedom to post”. 

All of these problems led to a decline of X. From the booming numbers we saw during the pandemic just two years removed, X’s users dropped 2.7% in 2023 and then another additional 2% decrease to total up to a 4.7% decline of users in just a matter of a couple years. This trend is projected to continue into 2025 and if so, we will see a 5% decrease of users of X just two years after Twitter had peaked in users.  

These statistics don’t go unnoticed, with many people leaving X and moving to either Threads or other platforms. Musk has promised to change X back to look more like it did when it was Twitter, but as of now these changes haven’t occurred and more users are leaving each day. Until changes are made, this trend will continue, and day by day we are seeing the downfall of X. 

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