Twitter could soon exceed “a billion monthly users,” says chief Elon Musk

Within a 12 to 18 months time frame.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Twitter owner Elon Musk took to the social media platform on Sunday to share some very ambitious plans. “I think I see a path to Twitter exceeding a billion monthly users in 12 to 18 months,” he said.

Several impressive increases

He added that signups were averaging over two million per day in the last seven days as of November 16, an increase of 66 percent compared to the same timeframe in 2021.

According to the billionaire, user active minutes were also at a record high, averaging nearly 8 billion active minutes per day in the last seven days as of November 15, a rise of 30 percent in comparison to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, hate speech impressions had decreased as of November 13 compared to October of last year, a key concern for advertisers who have pulled their dollars from the platform.

Musk also added that he is dedicated to building a "Twitter 2.0 The Everything App" that will boast features like encrypted direct messages, payments, and long-form tweets.

So far, however, the chief’s plans have not proved fruitful. Musk was recently forced to pause his 8$ per month Twitter Blue service, which allowed anyone to pay the subscription for the blue verification tick. This is because users began to abuse the system by impersonating well-known brands and famous people.

As an example, Twitter gave a blue check verified mark to an account of Jesus Christ which came as a surprise to many as Musk is known for his aversion to fake accounts.

In addition, the first feature that Musk created was killed under 24 hours. The 'Official Account' Badge was up in early November for a limited number of accounts but was soon ended.

The word 'Official' would be shown on the accounts that had been verified by Twitter staff as being who they claim to be. This was to replace the Twitter Blue check mark that had previously been the way the social media platform verified its accounts.

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Dangerous footage

To make matters worse, on Monday, it was reported by The Guardian that the New Zealand government had to alert Twitter that footage of the Christchurch terror attack was circulating on the platform. It seems the platform failed to recognize the content as harmful before being advised.

The video clips were taken by the Australian white supremacist who murdered 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch in 2019. They had been uploaded on Saturday and stayed active all day Sunday until Twitter finally took them down.

This prompted New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern to have some tough words for the social media platform. “We will continue to maintain our expectation that (Twitter does) everything they can on a day-to-day basis to remove that content but also to reduce terrorist content and violent extremist content online, as they’ve committed to,” Ardern said.

Musk did announce recently that its delayed color-coded “Verified” service would be active on Friday of this week. Will this new feature help calm the platform’s woes?