X's Mobile Revenue Declines for Second Month in a Row

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read Jun. 7

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - It's Game Time. Check out the full article for more insights.

Twitter, I mean X, is going through a strange period these days. Downloads are recovering after the abrupt name change last year but are still not anywhere near where they were - more on that below - and revenue growth, which was very healthy last year, has slowed down considerably and is now negative.

Without getting too much into the politics of this, let's have a look at the numbers and where X is heading.

First, revenue.

According to our App Intelligence, X saw $7.6M of net revenue in May - that's what Elon gets to keep after Apple and Google take their fees. And even though I combined the two, it's really the App Store that continues to drive most of the revenue for X - 78% of it in May.

This will become important when we look at downloads.

This haul is lower than April's $8M estimated net revenue, which was a tad lower than March's $8.2M haul. Not by a lot, but if you compare March and May it's a 7% decrease which can't feel good.

I've been analyzing X's revenue before the bird went dark and know growth is as much about the political landscape as it is about the platform, but I think there's more to this decline.

X users spend on premium plans and to subscribe to creators - and there's a problem with each of those. Creators, who are incentivized to post, end up posting too much with too little substance because they need the views, which makes everyone's stream more fluff and less engaging overall. On the other side, X has increased its premium subscription price a lot since it became somewhat mandatory to exist on the platform and its highest tier is now more than $20/mo. That's quite a lot, considering the quality has decreased.

Sure, there's a $4/mo plan now as well, but it's fairly useless.

Between lacking substance and increasing prices, X is making it really hard for its user base to upgrade.

And it gets worse when we look at downloads.

I normally combine downloads across the App Store and Google Play because a download is a download, but now that we know that more money is coming from the App Store, it's important to see where the downloads are coming from.

Well, not the App Store.

X's road to recovery has been slow and when we look at each store independently, we see it really hasn't recovered the App Store side of things at all. It's still declining there.

Our estimates show that last May, X saw 4.4M downloads from the App Store. Fast forward a year and an abrupt name change and the App Store was only responsible for 3M downloads. That's a 32% drop and the trend doesn't seem to want to stop.

Google Play downloads are on the rise but are still behind the year-ago numbers. Even when they fully recover, the impact to revenue will be minimal considering the majority of X's mobile revenue is coming from the App Store.

I don't think this is the end of X, but it's definitely not going to be easy to grow from here unless something serious happens - or advertisers decide to come back to the platform.

App Intelligence for Everyone!

The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

Are you a Journalist? You can get access to our app and market intelligence for free through the Appfigures for Journalists program. Contact us for more details.

All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #social-media

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