Musk: Twitter will have 1 billion monthly users inside 18 months

Meanwhile reports say more ad buyers are staying away

Call it blind optimism, deployment of a reality distortion field or pure conviction that Twitter will ultimately flourish, but Elon Musk reckons his social media platform will have 1 billion monthly users within 18 months.

The world's richest man made public a number of slides at the weekend included in his company talk, in which he claimed new user signups in the seven days to November 16 averaged 2 million per day, up 66 percent year-on-year. Further, he said Twitter had recorded 8 billion user active minutes per day for the seven days to November 15, up 30 percent.

"I think I see a path to Twitter exceeding a billion monthly users in 12 to 18 months," Musk said on Twitter in response to an admiring tweet from culture warrior Jordan Peterson.

According to Reuters, Twitter amassed 238 million users in Q2 so Elon has to think up some pretty attractive propositions to pull in more punters. He may feel the decision to restore suspended accounts, despite previously saying he wouldn't do so until a moderation council was appointed, will help.

It might, in the same way drivers sometimes slow their cars on motorways to look at crash victims, but should Twitter be perceived as a temple of trolling then it is unlikely to help solve the financial conundrum facing his Muskiness.

Twitter, he said weeks ago, is losing around $4 million daily and the decision by some advertisers to pause spending on the platform as they assess the direction it is taking is unlikely to help revenues. These include a range of automakers and global brands such as Mondelez, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Hugo Boss, and others.

The Financial Times wrote at the weekend that numerous advertising agencies and media buyers claimed that many of the big brands they represent had taken a decision to hold off on further Twitter advertising due to Musk's ad-hoc approach to content moderation and his decision to lay off some of Twitter's ad sales team.

Musk, it is claimed, personally called execs at some brands to berate them on their current Twitter ad policy. Yet some advertisers are reportedly struggling to find a point of contact at Twitter, after job cuts, and are unable to get feedback on the impact of previous ad campaigns.

Also on the slides Musk outlined at the weekend is one that simply says "We're recruiting." This follows some pretty devastating cuts at Twitter that saw workers in multiple departments leave the organization, and a subsequent ultimatum by Musk to engineers to go "hardcore" or go home. ®

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