After months of hand-wringing and hullabaloo over Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, including reports of lost users and threats of mass defections, the dust has settled and things look...about the same. A new Pew Research Center survey examines Twitter usage among U.S. adults since Musk took over, and finds the patterns are remarkably similar. A small minority of Twitter users are still responsible for most activity, as 20% of adult users account for 98% of all tweets. And most of those heavy Twitter users have remained just as active in the Musk era...80% of active Twitter users have maintained those usage patterns from pre-Musk to post-Musk.
What all of this adds up to is reports of Twitter's demise under Musk were greatly exaggerated. "The incredibly loud 13 celebrities that yelled on their way out and had the door slam behind them, they thought that everybody would join them, and they just simply didn't," says Anthony Russo, political analyst and podcast host with #BeTheChange.
Not only have Twitter user patterns remained steady, but the partisan breakdown of the platform has continued under Musk. Despite Democrats threatening to abandon Twitter, they have not. In fact, 61% of heavy Twitter users are Democrat or lean Democrat, nearly the same ratio as before Musk took over. Russo believes conservatives should not be discouraged by that, but it should inspire them to embrace Twitter even more. "It's not about the percentage of users, it's about making sure that it's truly like the public square where both sides can get involved in a conversation," he says.
"I think Twitter is actually a great space, because under Musk it allows conservatives to actually be heard," Russo continues. "It is no longer just an echo chamber like all the other places."
With Musk bringing in a new CEO and rolling out new features like Twitter Spaces (where Ron DeSantis made his presidential announcement), Russo believes Twitter is not only surviving but thriving. "Twitter is essentially doing what Elon Musk wanted to do, where it is a destination space, an all-in-one app," he says. "And he has successfully made some massive changes in only eight months at the helm."