Elon Musk claimed Twitter was “by far the biggest driver of clicks on the internet”[ads1]; in a tweet on Saturday.
The site’s new owner was widely mocked in the responses by users who rejected his claim.
Twitter generated 7.7% of referrals in January, with 74.1% for Facebook, per Datareportal.
Elon Musk was widely mocked after claiming that Twitter was the biggest driver of “clicks” to other websites on the internet “by far”.
In a chirping on Saturday, the new owner of Twitter suggested that the platform was the biggest source of referrals to other sites. He was responding to an exchange discussing how little traffic was coming from Twitter, with author Matt Taibbi saying 10 minutes on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast was a year’s worth of tweets.
“Twitter drives a huge number of clicks to other sites/apps. By far the biggest driver of clicks on the Internet,” Musk replied.
He then came under fire when users pointed out that Facebook was by far the leading generator of traffic to other sites.
Tom Coates, a product developer, tweeted: “100% wrong. Embarrassing mistake. I mean even if you ignore the search engines, it’s wrong. I can feel your ad managers and partnership people (if there are any left) withering away the more you write.”
Coates shared a study by Datereporter that suggested Twitter generated 7.7% of social media referrals across social media in January, a fraction of the 74.1% of clicks from Facebook.
In terms of all sites, Twitter ranks ninth for traffic, just above adult site Pornhub.
A 2016 study by data analytics website parse.ly cited by NiemanLab found that the average news organization generated just 1.5% of its traffic from Twitter, with the top 5% of publicists receiving 11% of their clicks from the platform.
Former Twitter employee Claire Díaz-Ortiz so the claim was false and the company never sold to advertisers on clicks because it was well known that they had far fewer than sites like Facebook.
Musk is looking for ways to make Twitter profitable after saying last week that the company was losing $4 million a day. He laid off about 3,700 Twitter employees after his $44 billion takeover to cut costs.
His first attempt to generate new revenue, the $8 verification rollout, ended in farce as users went on a rampage impersonating major figures such as George Bush and Tony Blair, as well as companies such as Lockheed Martin and Eli Lilly.
Musk has since reportedly floated the idea of putting the entire site behind a paywall, and has already hinted at the possibility of bankruptcy in his first meeting with Twitter employees.
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