Elon Musk said on Friday that monthly users of social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, reached a “new high” and shared a graph that showed the latest count as over 540 million.
Musk’s post on X about the user figures comes as the company goes through organisational changes and looks to boost advertising revenue which has dropped in the recent month.
It is also the latest in a series of comments from X’s executives claiming strong traction in usage, after Meta Platforms launched a direct competing platform called Threads on July 5.
Twitter had 229 million monthly active users in May 2022, according to a statement made before Musk’s purchase of the firm in October. Musk posted in November that X had 259.4 million daily active users.
Since taking over, Musk has swiftly moved through a number of product and organizational changes. The company rolled out the verified blue tick as a paid service and has started sharing a cut of the ad sales with select content creators on the platform.
In May, Musk named former NBCUniversal advertising chief Linda Yaccarino as CEO of X, signalling that ad sales were a priority even as the platform worked to increase the subscription revenue.
Musk said earlier this month that X’s cash flow was negative because of a nearly 50 percent drop in advertising revenue and a heavy debt load, without offering details.
Meanwhile, Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter as X could be complicated legally: companies including Meta and Microsoft already have intellectual property rights to the same letter.
X is so widely used and cited in trademarks that it is a candidate for legal challenges – and the company formerly known as Twitter could face its own issues defending its X brand in the future.
“There’s a 100 percent chance that Twitter is going to get sued over this by somebody,” said trademark attorney Josh Gerben, who said he counted nearly 900 active U.S. trademark registrations that already cover the letter X in a wide range of industries.
Owners of trademarks – which protect things like brand names, logos and slogans that identify sources of goods – can claim infringement if other branding would cause consumer confusion. Remedies range from monetary damages to blocking use.
Microsoft since 2003 has owned an X trademark related to communications about its Xbox video-game system. Meta Platforms – whose Threads platform is a new Twitter rival – owns a federal trademark registered in 2019 covering a blue-and-white letter “X” for fields including software and social media.
Meta and Microsoft likely would not sue unless they feel threatened that Twitter’s X encroaches on brand equity they built in the letter, Gerben said.
The three companies did not respond to requests for comment.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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