Elon Musk has been widely mocked after claiming that Twitter was “by far” the biggest driver of “clicks” for other websites on the Internet. In a tweet on Saturday, the new owner of Twitter suggested that the platform was its biggest source of referrals to other websites.
He was responding to an exchange about how little traffic came from Twitter, with writer Matt Tabby saying that a 10-minute tweet on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast was worth a year.
Elon Musk replied, “Twitter drives a huge number of clicks to other websites/apps. By far the biggest click driver on the Internet.”
Twitter drives a massive number of clicks to other websites/apps. Biggest click driver on the Internet by far.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2022
He then came under fire as users pointed out that Facebook is the leading generator of traffic for other websites.
Tom Coates, a product developer, tweeted: “100% wrong. Embarrassingly wrong. I mean even if you ignore search engines, it’s wrong. I can feel your ad execution and partnership people (if any are left) then sort by the more you’re shrinking.”
Coates shared a study from DataReport that suggested Twitter generated 7.7% of social media referrals in January, a fraction of 74.1% of clicks from Facebook.
Out of all the websites, Twitter ranks ninth in terms of traffic, just above the adult website Pornhub.
A 2016 study by data analytics site Parse.ly cited by NiemanLab found that the average news organization generates only 1.5% of its traffic from Twitter, with the top 5% of publishers receiving 11% of clicks from the platform.
Former Twitter employee Claire Diaz-Ortiz said the claim was false, and that the company never sold itself on clicks to advertisers because it was well known they had little more to offer than sites like Facebook.
Musk is looking for ways to make Twitter profitable as the company was losing $4 million a day last week. They laid off about 3,700 Twitter employees after the acquisition for $44 billion to reduce costs.
Their first attempt at generating new revenue, the rollout of Verification for $8, ended in farce as users slandered prominent figures such as George Bush and Tony Blair, as well as companies such as Lockheed Martin and Eli Lilly.
Musk has reportedly shelved the idea of putting the entire website behind a paywall, and has already raised the prospect of bankruptcy in his first meeting with Twitter employees.