Elon Musk’s personal sinking ship Twitter has seen a huge drop in traffic since the billionaire’s acquisition of the social media juggernaut. With the release of Mark Zuckerberg’s competitor Threads, the website’s traffic has delved even deeper.
Revealed by Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince on Threads, Twitter’s traffic has taken a nosedive following recent decisions made by Musk. While Zuckerberg’s Threads has been successful with 100 million sign ups since launch, it’s likely not the cause of Twitter traffic plummeting.
Instead, Elon Musk’s decisions on the platform are more likely the reason behind the service’s decline. Not only has the platform become a cesspit for far-right ideologies to spread with a lack of moderation, but Musk’s business decisions have hampered the company’s growth.
Over the past few months, Musk’s mass layoffs of employees has left the social media platform with a skeleton crew. This has resulted in issues such as the infamous Rate Limit Exceeded period that left Twitter users only able to load 600 tweets a day. This included replies and even their own tweets. This limit was allegedly introduced after the service started DDOSing itself.
Furthermore, Musk limited the ability for search engines such as Google to scrape the website for data, restricting its ability to put tweets into Google Search, a method that leads new users to the website. Musk also made it so that only users with an account could see tweets, meaning tweets that did appear in search were unable to be seen by anyone without an account. These decisions have since been retracted.
These actions have caused the Twitter platform to see serious de-ranking on search engines such as Google. Overall, these changes have seen the website drop five domain places from 32nd to 37th on Google, but it’s the individual posts that fall that are more important. With Google unable to crawl the website, it’s treated as a dead site, similar to how Reddit’s recent user protests plummeted website traffic.
There is a belief that Threads can become the more popular alternative to Twitter, especially with its already massively engrained audience of Instagram users. However, there is an obviously different vibe to the new platform, taking the coyness of Instagram and pushing it into text-only format.
Currently, Threads is limited to an app-only experience and that experience is rather limited. The platform currently lacks any form of hashtags, editing and other basic features found in other social medias. Furthermore, growing new accounts not tied to an existing Instagram has proven to be tricky. Whether or not the platform will end Twitter is yet to be seen.