Twitter is experiencing a decline in website traffic, with users reportedly shifting to alternative platforms like Threads, BlueSky, and Mastodon. Cloudflare, an internet services company, has observed this downward trend, leading its chief to state that Twitter’s traffic is “tanking.”
This decline can be traced back to early 2023 when Elon Musk assumed control of the platform. Cloudflare’s domain server ranking graph reveals a significant drop for Twitter around mid-2023, coinciding with unpopular changes implemented by Musk and the introduction of Threads, a rival platform owned by Meta.
In June, Musk tweeted about Twitter achieving an all-time record in “user seconds.” However, in early July, Twitter began enforcing a login requirement to view tweets and introduced a rate limit on the number of posts users could read per day. The changes were initially set at 6,000 for paying users and 600 for non-paying users to combat scraping attempts on the website.
Following public backlash, Twitter increased the rate limit and removed the login requirement. However, Twitter did not provide a response when The Guardian sought comments on the matter.
Meanwhile, Meta’s Threads, touted as an alternative to Twitter, witnessed a remarkable surge in users, surpassing 70 million within three days of its launch. It is expected to reach 100 million users by Monday, excluding European Union users who cannot access the app until it complies with EU law.
Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, acknowledged the toxicity on Twitter and believes it has prevented the platform from achieving true success. Zuckerberg stated that Threads aims to maintain a friendly environment as it expands, which he views as crucial to its success. He highlighted the difference in approach, stating that Twitter’s failure to address toxicity hindered its growth.
However, research from Media Matters revealed that within 24 hours of Threads’ release, right-wing and fringe figures, including white nationalists like Richard Spencer and white supremacists such as Nick Fuentes, signed up for the platform. Some far-right accounts are even testing the platform’s moderation policies, aiming to get banned as a sign of honor.
Additionally, Mastodon, an earlier competitor to Twitter, has experienced a slight increase in monthly active users in July after a stagnation earlier in the year. According to the Guardian’s analysis, the platform’s active monthly user count has nearly returned to two million.
As for BlueSky, it is still in beta and limited to invitation-only sign-ups. However, the platform temporarily halted new sign-ups due to high demand following Twitter’s rate limit changes.