Pew: 60% of U.S. Twitter customers have ‘taken a break’ from the platform previously 12 months

A brand new examine by Pew Research Center paints an image of a pause in Twitter utilization by U.S. adults, however the information doesn’t essentially level the finger at Elon Musk’s takeover of the social media platform because the supply of the blame. As a substitute, Pew’s survey of U.S. adults, which was carried out over per week in March, experiences {that a} majority of U.S. grownup Twitter customers, or 60%, mentioned they’ve taken a break from Twitter from utilizing the service for “a number of weeks or extra” over the previous 12 months.

Nevertheless, Elon Musk formally acquired Twitter on October 27, 2022 — which implies the corporate has solely been in his possession for 6-plus months, not a full 12 months. In different phrases, no matter led to Twitter customers taking lengthy breaks from the app could or could not have something to do with the positioning’s new proprietor. And, as a result of Pew Analysis didn’t provide any historic information to match to, it’s not clear if this has been a daily sample for Twitter customers earlier than this era, both.

Nonetheless, the info is fascinating because it seemingly demonstrates that, for a minimum of a few of its customers, Twitter has not constructed such an addictive platform that has develop into a required each day behavior. In contrast with Meta’s social apps, which now see 3.02 billion daily active users as of the primary quarter, some Twitter customers are avoiding the app for lengthy stretches of time, if Pew’s information is to be believed. (Its methodology is here and concerned over 10,000 respondents, if of curiosity.)

Pew’s additional evaluation could trace as to why that’s the case, noting that those that usually tend to have taken a break from the app embody each girls and Black customers. Pew says 69% of girls in contrast with 54% of males mentioned they took a break from Twitter previously 12 months. In the meantime, 67% of Black customers mentioned they took a break from the app in contrast with 60% of white customers and 54% of Hispanic customers. (The survey information didn’t embody sufficient Asian American Twitter customers to supply an in depth evaluation, the agency famous.)


This might counsel that it’s not politics or age — teams that noticed no vital variations — that leads individuals to stroll away from Twitter for a time. Slightly it factors to demographics which have traditionally confronted essentially the most harassment on the platform, in response to prior analyses and reports, including those from Amnesty International.

However Pew Analysis fails to show that any of that is particularly Musk’s fault, because the report appears on the previous 12 months and never, for instance, a comparability of utilization from earlier than Musk owned Twitter and after. If something, this might counsel why Twitter, all alongside, has struggled to achieve traction in contrast with its friends in social media —  as a result of it by no means acquired a full deal with on the abuse going down on the app, regardless of its ever-evolving insurance policies meant to do exactly that.

In a separate examine, additionally launched at present, Pew takes a glimpse into Twitter’s doable future by asking present and up to date Twitter customers how probably they’re to make use of the platform a 12 months from now.

Extra individuals (40%) mentioned they have been “extraordinarily” or “very probably” to take action, whereas 35% mentioned “considerably.”

But, there was nonetheless a regarding quarter (25%) of Twitter’s present and up to date customers who mentioned they have been “not very probably” or “under no circumstances probably” to be utilizing the app in a 12 months’s time.

Picture Credit: Pew Analysis Middle

Once more, the demographics from the prior survey maintain up right here, as the present or current Twitter customers who’re males mentioned they have been extra probably than girls to say they may “probably” use the platform a 12 months from now  — or 47% versus 31%.

Pew additionally discovered a partisan divide by way of who sees themselves on Twitter sooner or later.

Present or current customers who’re Republican or Republican-leaning are extra probably than Democrats to say it’s “probably” they may use the positioning a 12 months from now — or 45% versus 36%. Republicans have been additionally extra prone to say it’s “extraordinarily probably” they’d nonetheless be on Twitter, in contrast with Democrats — or 25% versus 17%.

None of this essentially factors to a decline in Twitter energetic customers, provided that we don’t understand how frequent it’s been for customers to “take breaks” previously. However different surveys from final 12 months had urged that was taking place. As an illustration, one study covered by BuzzFeed News urged the variety of Twitter customers within the U.S. had dropped 9% since Musk’s takeover. One other report from SimilarWeb (via Vox), mentioned Twitter had increased visitors within the pre-Musk period than it did in January 2023. It famous customer development declined 12 months over 12 months from 4.7% in November 2022 to -2% in January 2023.

Musk countered these claims in November, saying Twitter usage was at an “all-time high.” And extra just lately, Apptopia’s information seemingly supported this assertion, exhibiting that Twitter’s each day energetic customers grew from 229 million in Q1 2022 to 246.8 million, on common, since October 2022, Digiday said in April, with a imply common enhance of 1.3 million new customers every month. (This discovering didn’t break issues down by nation, however the U.S. is Twitter’s largest market).

If something, then, what Pew’s information signifies is to not what extent Musk’s insurance policies and common chaos-making at Twitter have harm the app’s utilization within the U.S., however how far the corporate has to go to be the form of app that customers don’t have to repeatedly placed on pause.

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