Call it blind optimism, deployment of a reality distortion field or pure conviction that Twitter will ultimately flourish, but Elon Musk reckons his social media platform will have 1 billion monthly users within 18 months.
The world’s richest man made public a number of slides at the weekend included in his company talk, in which he claimed new user signups in the seven days to November 16 averaged 2 million per day, up 66 percent year-on-year. Further, he said Twitter had recorded 8 billion user active minutes per day for the seven days to November 15, up 30 percent.
“I think I see a path to Twitter exceeding a billion monthly users in 12 to 18 months,” Musk said on Twitter in response to an admiring tweet from culture warrior Jordan Peterson.
It must be so fun to be in the sales department at Twitter right now, reaching out to advertisers like, “I am so sorry that our CEO dissed you publicly today, but I’ll make it up to you this weekend with a round of cough putt putt cough golf, on us.”
Twitter over the weekend was flooded with spam and suggestive ads in what appears to be an attempt to help the Chinese government hide news about rioters protesting coronavirus restrictions in China.
“Chinese bots are flooding Twitter with ‘escort ads’, possibly to make it more difficult for Chinese users to access information about the mass protests,” wrote Mengyu Dong, a researcher with the Stanford Internet Observatory, a social media research project, in a Twitter post. “Some of these [accounts] have been dormant for years, only to become active yesterday after protests broke out in China.”
Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory, said via Twitter that he’d previously warned about the risks billionaire Elon Musk was taking by cutting so many of the company’s staff and that this appears to be the first major failure to stop a government interference campaign under Musk’s leadership.
I wonder how many people in China even have access to Twitter? It’s been officially banned there for a long time. Seems like anyone going through the effort to circumvent the ban would already be well aware of these protests from foreign media sources.