In early April 2022, tech billionaire and prolific Twitter user Elon Musk made headlines when disclosing his recent acquisition of a 9.1 percent stake in Twitter, worth almost 3 billion U.S. dollars, making him the top shareholder of the company. By the end of April, following a shock bid, the Twitter board agreed to sell the company to Musk for 44 billion U.S. dollars, pending shareholder approval. Musk previously stated his views that the platform does not support the principles of freedom of speech, and looks to make alterations to the platform, such as changes to current regulations, open-source algorithms, and the eradication of fake accounts.
Twitter’s company financialsIn 2021, Twitter’s revenue amounted to over 5 billion U.S. dollars and the company incurred a net loss of 221 million U.S. dollars. Overall, the majority of Twitter’s revenues were generated via advertising, with a small portion being generated through data licensing. Twitter went public in November 2013 and is ranked as one of the largest internet companies in the United States with a market capitalization of 28.93 billion U.S. dollars as of February 2022.
Twitter’s audienceAs of the fourth quarter of 2021, Twitter had 217 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU), indicating steady growth in users in recent years. Although the micro-blogging platform is popular, its audience size does not compare with social media giants such as Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp – all of which have over 2 billion monthly active users. Twitter finds popularity amongst those aged 25 to 34 years, with this age group accounting for 38.5 percent of the social platform’s worldwide user base in 2021. Additionally, men made up 56.4 percent of Twitter’s audience.
As of April 2022, former U.S. President Barack Obama was the most followed person on Twitter, with a total of over 131 million followers. Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Rihanna followed, all with over 100 million followers on the platform.