Twitter Users Unfazed by Elon Musk’s $43 Billion Dollar Offer

Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter, but the social media giant has introduced a ‘poison pill’ to fend off his $43 billion offer. We’ve used our app intelligence solutions to analyze how users have responded.

On April 4th, 2022, a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that Elon Musk — Technoking of Tesla and CEO of SpaceX — had bought a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter, making him the largest shareholder of one of the world’s preeminent social media platforms. Ten days later, after rejecting Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal’s offer to join the company’s board, Musk announced that he had formally submitted a bid to purchase Twitter for $43 billion, or $54.20 per share.

For those wondering about Musk’s motive, he has been a vocal critic of Twitter’s content moderation policies for quite some time. In a March 25th Twitter poll, he asked his followers a simple yes or no question: Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to the principle of free speech? In a masterful display of foreshadowing, he followed this up by encouraging his followers to respond carefully, noting, “The consequences of this poll will be important.”

For their part, Twitter is expected to formally accept or reject Musk's unsolicited purchase offer in the coming days. In the interim, the board has responded by introducing a shareholder rights plan (i.e. a ‘poison pill’) that would take effect once a person or entity (i.e. Musk) acquires 15% or more of Twitter's shares. In essence, this would enable Twitter’s current shareholders to acquire more stock in the company at a discounted price if Musk were to increase his stake in the company to 15%, effectively diluting his shares and upping the costs of a potential purchase.

Now, how this story eventually shakes out is anyone’s guess. But whatever the outcome, there will be users who feel slighted. Indeed, opinions on the matter have already formed along ideological lines, with some celebrating the potential acquisition as a noble defense of free speech and core American values and others decrying Musk’s vision for the internet as dangerous nonsense. In other words, an eventual Twitter exodus seems possible, regardless of who ‘wins’ the standoff.

With this in mind, we decided to use our App Watchlist platform to keep an eye on how this story has impacted the Twitter app. In particular, we’ve been tracking download trends and top chart rankings for the iOS and Android versions of Twitter.

Here’s what we’ve found so far (click the links below to jump to the relevant sections):

Analysis of Twitter’s Performance

First, here’s a brief snapshot of how the Android and iOS versions of Twitter have performed over the last 30 days (March 20th, 2022 - April 19th, 2022):

As you can see, the Android version has been downloaded 10,680,603 times globally, whereas the iOS version has been downloaded 8,972,799 times. Strong performances, all things considered. But, for more context, let’s expand the scope a bit…

Downloads (January 1st, 2022 - April 19th, 2022)

Above you’ll find daily downloads for the iOS (in purple) and Android (in blue) versions of Twitter. More specifically, this chart depicts global downloads between January 1st and April 19th, 2022.

As you can see, Twitter downloads have remained remarkably strong. The iOS version typically pulls in about 300,000 downloads per day, while the Android version has a little more variability — reaching as many as 1,010,620 downloads (on January 5th) and falling to as few as 99,130 (on March 16th).

Relevant to Elon Musk’s interest in acquiring Twitter, we’ve highlighted a few specific dates:

Check it out:

There’s not much to glean from the data just yet. Users don’t seem particularly fazed by the back and forth between Twitter and Musk. Put this firmly in the “wait and see” category.

Top Chart Rankings (January 1st, 2022 - April 19th, 2022)

The top chart rankings tell a similar story. Above, you’ll find Twitter’s daily, category-specific rankings in the United States. In this case, the iOS version falls into the ‘News’ genre, while the Android version is categorized under ‘Social.’

Once again, the iOS app is a powerhouse — it’s firmly entrenched in the top spot of the ‘News’ genre. The Android app has been similarly consistent. It currently sits at number four in the ‘Social’ category and has rarely fallen below the five spot.

Let’s check back in on our dates of interest — April 4th, 5th, 11th, and 14th:

It’s possible that Musk’s actions contributed to a slight uptick in rankings, although it’s not entirely evident. For example, check out the ‘Overall’ U.S. top chart rankings below. The first image is from Google Play on April 14th:

As you can see, the Android app climbed four spots the day Musk made it clear he intended to privatize Twitter.

Next, let’s look at the iOS charts from April 5th:

Twitter popped up five spots the day after Musk became the company’s largest shareholder.

However, as any school teacher would be quick to remind you, correlation does not mean causation. And considering Twitter’s downloads have remained steady, it’s possible that these modest jumps owe more to other apps falling than Twitter rising.

Final Thoughts

Looking at the data, one gets the sense that Twitter users are in a sort of holding pattern. Regardless of whether or not the social media giant is folded into the SpaceX / Tesla / Starlink family, it’s not difficult to imagine a demographic shift taking place among users.

Indeed, Musk’s standoff with Twitter will almost certainly have a major impact on the future of the company and the social media landscape more broadly. One thing to keep an eye on in the event of a Twitter ‘victory,’ for instance, is whether or not it would jumpstart downloads for languishing apps like Parler or Donald Trump’s Truth Social. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this story in the coming days.

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These tools, which you can try free for 14-days, offer a comprehensive look at app market trends and statistics. This includes in-depth, visual insights into downloads, categories, top charts, rating and review analyses, and more. This data can be downloaded as a CSV file and leveraged however you like — in your own algorithms, analyses, products, studies, etc.

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