As we noted recently, it’s hard to get an actual, real read on what’s happening on X, and whether activity in the app is increasing or decreasing, amid various controversies and concerns sparked by owner Elon Musk and his changes at the app.
For example, X keeps posting vague updates like this, which don’t really provide enough context as to what they mean.
There’ve been over 4 billion posts about sports this year on X. What’s your favorite?— Sports (@Sports) December 11, 2023
Is that good? How many posts about sports were there last year? That additional context would enable you to make a more informed judgment of what’s happening. Right?
Well, I can help you out.
According to previously shared data from Twitter, before Musk changed it to X, the platform saw 3.7 billion Tweets about sports in 2021, and 2.7 billion in 2020. I don’t have numbers for 2022, amid the chaos of the management changes at the app, but based on these data points, it does seem like X is seeing about as much sports discussion in the app as the trendline would suggest, so it seemingly hasn’t lost out as a result of changes this year.
In recent weeks, however, there definitely has been an uptick in some sports discussion on Threads, which could impact this in future. But right now, sports engagement remains strong on X, while the numbers here also suggest that around 11.43% of all original posts in the app relate to sports content.
On X, the political scene is electrifying! Citizens are engaging in crucial discussions with elected officials, community leaders, and fellow voters. Since October, the platform has been buzzing with nearly 100,000 posts per day about the US elections. Talk about a political…— News (@XNews) December 19, 2023
There’s no direct comparison for this stat, but as an indicator, back in 2020, in the days surrounding the last U.S. Election, Twitter was seeing around 760k tweets per day about the poll. It’s still a long way out from the vote however, so there’s nothing really indicative here, but this does suggest that posts about the U.S. election make up almost 1% of all posts in the app every day at present.
Expect that to rise significantly over the coming months.
There have been over 28 million X Spaces so far and the year's not over yet. Out of all the X Spaces so far, which one would you say was the most entertaining, informative, or just plain hilarious? pic.twitter.com/jdSY3LFVhe— Data (@XData) December 14, 2023
This one is particularly surprising. Based on this, that would mean that X is currently hosting around 560k Spaces sessions a week, and 80k Spaces chats per day in the app.
Which aligns with this recent post from X CEO Linda Yaccarino:
Just learned that over the weekend there were more than 130K Spaces on X — and users spent 2.4 million hours listening to the content. The voices of the people are powerful!!— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) December 19, 2023
That seems like a lot, but then again, with 250 million daily active users, it’s not crazy. It just seems like X should be doing more to highlight Spaces in real time, in order to capitalize on that activity.
Clearly, a lot of engagement is happening in Spaces chats, and it’d be interesting to get more insight into what, exactly, these chats are about, and how many people are actually tuning in.
As noted, it is difficult to get a good sense of X activity because the numbers provided are never clear, nor definitive, while X has also shared some data points that contradict others, while also seemingly looking to mislead with certain, cherry-picked figures.
But it is interesting to try and break down what’s actually happening, in order to better understand where Elon’s X project is actually placed.
And despite everything, X does appear to be seeing solid levels of activity, even if it’s not able to capitalize on such with respective ad spend at this stage.
But if the audience is there, advertisers will keep it in consideration. And it does still have opportunity to reverse more recent trends against the app.