Twitter Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk says new user signups to the social media platform are at an “all-time high,” despite some advertisers leaving the platform over concerns that Musk’s focus on free speech could hinder their image.
Signups were averaging over two million per day in the last seven days as of Nov. 16, up 66% compared to the same week in 2021, Musk said in a tweet late on Saturday. He also pushed back against criticism that the changes he instituted would lead to the “Wild West” showing that hate speech impressions were in fact down when compared to October of last year.
Reported impersonations on the platform spiked earlier this month, before and in wake of the Twitter Blue launch, according to Musk.
Slides from my Twitter company talk pic.twitter.com/8LLXrwylta
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 27, 2022
Additionally, he said that user active minutes were at a record high, averaging nearly 8 billion active minutes per day in the last seven days as of Nov. 15, an increase of 30% in comparison to the same week last year.
Musk, who also runs rocket company SpaceX, brain-chip startup Neuralink and tunneling firm the Boring Company, has said that buying Twitter would speed up his ambition to create an “everything app” called X.
Musk’s “Twitter 2.0 The Everything App” will have features like encrypted direct messages (DMs), longform tweets and payments, according to the tweet.
Twitter verification roll-out
On Friday, Musk announced that he also plans to roll out Twitter’s long-advertised verified service by the end of this week. The update will provide different colored checks for individuals, companies, and governments after a botched initial launch led to a surge in users impersonating celebrities and brands on the platform.
Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday allotted colors for the categories – gold for companies, grey for governments and a blue check for individuals including celebrities.
“Painful, but necessary,” he said, adding that verified accounts will be manually authenticated before a check is activated.
The revamped $8-per-month service will allow individuals to have a smaller, secondary logo of their organizations if verified by them, he said in another tweet on Friday. “Longer explanation next week.”
In another tweet early on Sunday, Musk said he sees a “path to Twitter exceeding a billion monthly users in 12 to 18 months.”
Advertisers succumbing to liberal outcry
Advertisers on Twitter, including big companies such as General Motors, Mondelez International, Volkswagen AG, have paused advertising on the platform, as they grapple with the new boss.
Musk has said that Twitter was experiencing a “massive drop in revenue” from the advertiser retreat, blaming a coalition of civil rights groups that have been pressing the platform’s top advertisers to take action if he did not protect content moderation.
Activists are urging Twitter‘s advertisers to issue statements about pulling their ads off the social media platform after Musk lifted the ban on tweets by former U.S. president Donald Trump.
Hundreds of Twitter employees are believed to have quit the company, following an ultimatum by Musk that staffers sign up for “long hours at high intensity,” or leave.
The company earlier in November laid off half its workforce, with teams responsible for communications, content curation, human rights, and machine learning ethics being gutted, as well as some product and engineering teams.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters. Additions and updates for FISM News by Michael Cardinal