Google search engine data suggests Twitter users really are leaving the platform in their droves now Elon Musk is the new owner.
Experts at security firm VPNOverview have used Google Trends to establish search increases over the past week since Musk’s $44 billion (£38 billion) takeover.
Globally, searches for ‘How to delete Twitter’ surged by 500 per cent in the past week, from October 24 to October 31, the firm found.
Searches for ‘boycott Twitter’ are also up 4,800 per cent in the last seven days, from October 26 to November 2.
It’s already known many Twitter users are losing followers due to accounts disappearing, likely due to deletion.
Searches for ‘How to delete Twitter’ have surged by 500 per cent in the past week since Elon Musk took over the platform
Elon Musk, the world’s richest person with a net worth of more than $210billion (£180billion), completed his purchase of Twitter last week
HOW TO DELETE YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT
– On the homepage, click ‘More’ on the side menu followed by ‘Settings & Support’ and then ‘Settings and privacy’
– Select ‘Your Account’ followed by ‘Deactivate your account’ and then ‘Deactivate’
– Before selecting ‘Deactivate’, users have the option to make the ‘Reactivation period’ 30 days or 12 months
– This reactivation period lets users restore their Twitter account if it was accidentally or wrongfully deactivated
Deleting a Twitter account is actually a ‘straightforward and easy process’ that can be completed in a few steps, VPNOverview says, although users wanting to ‘disengage’ from the site should not feel compelled to do so.
Naj Ahmed, a privacy expert at VPNOverview, said it’s ‘unlikely’ that there will be immediate wholesale changes at Twitter and that the takeover ‘doesn’t mean a whole lot right away’.
‘Twitter’s not trying to revolutionise the way people communicate, or disrupt an existing industry, unlike most of Mr Musk’s existing companies,’ Ahmed said.
‘This is quite different from most of Mr Musk’s portfolio, as it’s one of the few times that he’s bought an established company that isn’t trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible.’
Ahmed also said he expects ‘more openness’ in the type of content that’s published on Twitter, as well as the return of certain popular figures who were banned by the platform, such as Donald Trump and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Musk said: ‘Twitter will not allow anyone who was de-platformed for violating Twitter rules back on platform until we have a clear process for doing so, which will take at least a few more weeks.’
Twitter users have been watching closely to see if Elon Musk will restore former US president Donald Trump’s account, after he was banned for inciting last year’s attack on the US Capitol
TWITTER USERS ARE LOSING FOLLOWERS AFTER TAKEOVER
Multiple Twitter users have posted that they’ve been losing followers since the $44 billion (£38 billion) takeover was completed on Thursday.
It’s possible people are losing Twitter followers – described as ‘The Great Purge’ by one user – because users are deactivating their accounts in protest at Musk’s purchase.
Another possibility is that Musk has already got to work at reducing the number of bots on the platform, said to make up five per cent of all user accounts.
On Friday, Star Wars actor Mark Hamill said he’d lost almost 6,000 followers in the last three days.
It’s already known that Twitter users have been threatening to delete their accounts in protest at Musk and his initial shake-up of the platform, although whether they follow through with it is a different matter.
Since becoming owner, Musk – who also runs Tesla and SpaceX – has wasted no time making significant changes to Twitter, including firing top execs and dissolving the board of directors.
He’s also confirmed going to make Twitter users pay $8 per month to have a blue tick next to their account name, calling the current ‘lords and peasants’ system ‘bulls**t’.
Musk, the world’s richest man, previously mulled a $20 per month blue tick verification fee, but appeared to lower the cost following criticism from horror author Stephen King.
Musk has also already specified his intention to form a content moderation council with ‘widely diverse viewpoints’.
‘No major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes,’ he said.
He has also reportedly brought more than 50 of his Tesla staff who were mostly working on the electric car company’s autopilot team to review and work on code for Twitter.
Washington Post also reports Musk will lay off 25 per cent of Twitter’s workforce in the first round of job cuts.
Possibly due to the outrage directed at him on Twitter, in the last 24 hours, Musk has changed his Twitter bio to: ‘Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator’ and his location to ‘Hell’.
In the last 24 hours, Musk has changed his Twitter bio to: ‘Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator’ and his location to ‘Hell’
Musk is going to make Twitter users pay $8 per month to have a blue tick next to their account name, calling the current ‘lords and peasants’ system ‘bulls**t
After news broke last week that Musk had completed the takeover, users started to notice that their follower counts were drastically depleting.
It’s possible people are losing followers – described as ‘The Great Purge’ by one user – because users are deactivating their accounts.
Many Twitter users appear to be heading to a little-known rival called Mastodon, founded six years ago by German software developer Eugen Rochko.
Mastodon – named after the extinct elephant-like mammal – is a free, open-source platform that has microblogging features similar to Twitter.
According to Mastodon, it gained more than 70,000 new sign-ups on Friday, the day after Musk finalised his $44 billion takeover of Twitter.
TIMELINE OF ELON MUSK’S CHAOTIC ATTEMPT TO TAKEOVER TWITTER
April 2: Musk announces that he owns 9.2 percent of the company, making him its largest single shareholder
April 14: Musk offers to take Twitter private at $54.20 a share, valuing the company at $44billion
April 25: Twitter accepts Musk’s offer
April 29: Musk sells $8billion in Tesla shares to finance deal
May 13: Musk says Twitter deal is on hold pending a review of bot accounts
May 26: Musk is sued by Twitter for stock manipulation during takeover
July 8: Musk says he’s backing out of the deal. Twitter sues, trying to force him into seeing it through.
October 4: Musk proposes again to go ahead with the deal at the original price
October 17: Proposed trial date in Delaware
October 26: Musk visits Twitter HQ with a sink, updates his bio on the site to ‘Chief Twit’ and sets his location to Twitter HQ
October 27: Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter is finally completed
October 28: Musk fires top Twitter employees, including CEO Parag Agrawal, CFO Ned Segal and top counsel Vijaya Gadde, the woman responsible for banning President Trump after the January 6 riots last year.
October 30: Twitter employees are told by Musk to make verified accounts a feature that’s exclusive to Twitter Blue, the platform’s paid subscription service
October 31: Musk confirms he’s the new CEO of Twitter and dissolves the board of directors