NPR Got Off Twitter Six Months Ago

Gabe Bullard, Nieman Reports:

Six months later, we can see that the effects of leaving Twitter have been negligible. A memo circulated to NPR staff says traffic has dropped by only a single percentage point as a result of leaving Twitter, now officially renamed X, though traffic from the platform was small already and accounted for just under two percent of traffic before the posting stopped. (NPR declined an interview request but shared the memo and other information). While NPR’s main account had 8.7 million followers and the politics account had just under three million, “the platform’s algorithm updates made it increasingly challenging to reach active users; you often saw a near-immediate drop-off in engagement after tweeting and users rarely left the platform,” the memo says.

There might be low overlap between a stereotypical reader of public broadcasting and the Elon Musk fans that have claimed Twitter, sort of like how pests and roaches take over a building and drive everyone out. This tracks with an overall decline in Twitter activity. Sure, there are some people sticking around — maybe you are one of them — and it is not a dead platform; it is still a great way to get customer support, though not from Apple. It is still a large and popular platform. But it is less essential than it used to be for breaking news, comedy, media types, or keeping up with your community.

It is not clear there is a single replacement platform right now, either. Maybe that is a good thing.