Social Media Shakeup–The Story of 2023
Social media shakeups were among the biggest marketing developments for 2023.
Twitter Becomes X
After acquiring Twitter in late 2022, Elon Musk’s company decided to rebrand the long-time social media giant. On July 28th, 2023, “Twitter” officially became known as “X.” The company did not take long to replace its iconic bird logo with a simple letter. Musk envisions more than just a name change. His long-term vision is to transform X into much more than a social media platform.
“Twitter was acquired by X Corp both to ensure freedom of speech and as an accelerant for X, the everything app,” Musk recently said.
“The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth – like birds tweeting – but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video. In the months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world,” he added (1).
Perhaps it’s wise that Musk is thinking long-term, because the re-branding has been a failure in the short-term. According to data from mobile research firm Apptopia, X has lost approximately 13% of its daily active users since Musk bought the company in October 2022. X’s daily user base has declined from an estimated 140 million users to 121 million.
Meta Launches Threads
The launch of “Threads” was timed perfectly to take advantage of X’s decline. Indeed the social media app experienced an unprecedented meteoric rise, surpassing 100 million users in just five days to become the fastest growing app in social media history.
Threads is an app from Meta (the creators of Facebook and Instagram) that is for sharing text updates and participating in public conversations. It is a direct competitor to Twitter/X with which it shares many similarities. In fact, it is so similar that Twitter/X has accused Threads of copyright infringement in regards to the following features: posting text-only updates, creating closed groups, and the ability to share posts on other social media platforms. Twitter has also accused Meta of poaching its employees, who may have had access to confidential information about Twitter’s products (2).
Despite the rapid rise of the Threads app, it has since floundered. Its daily users peaked at 49 million on day two of the July 5th launch, but fell all the way down to 9.6 million users by August 1st. As of December, 2023, Threads has 10.3 million daily active users (3). One consideration that may be keeping more users hooked in is the app’s connection to Instagram. You must have an Instagram account in order to use Threads. If a user deletes their Threads account it will also delete that user’s Instagram account. As such, the Threads total user count of 160 million as of January 1, 2024, may be a bit inflated. Threads’ long-term viability is yet to be determined.
TikTok Bans Denied
A pioneering Montana law that would have banned the app statewide has been blocked by a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said Montana’s TikTok ban “oversteps state power” and “likely violates the First Amendment (4).” This comes on the heels of a county judge dismissing a State of Indiana versus TikTok lawsuit. In this ruling, Judge Jennifer DeGroote declared the court does not have jurisdiction over the Chinese company and that no Indiana state laws had been violated (5).
TikTok has continued to grow in the face of adversity. In 2023, TikTok reached 1.5 billion monthly active users–which is a 16% year-over-year increase–and is projected by many to reach 2 billion in 2024. Growth has continued steadily in the U.S. as well, with the app reaching a record 150 million U.S. subscribers in 2023 (6).
At Ciniva, we keep on top of all the latest social media and digital marketing trends in order to deliver the best results for our clients. Regardless of what 2024 brings, we’ll make real-time adjustments to keep your brand at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Reach out to our team of specialists. We will help your business grow in the Digital Space in 2024 and beyond!