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The Twitter/X competitor that nobody is discussing is LinkedIn.

Ever since Elon Musk purchased Twitter in the autumn of 2022, the market for Twitter alternatives has flooded with would-be rivals, ranging from tiny firms to open source applications to well-funded attempts like Threads from Instagram. However, LinkedIn is one often-disregarded Twitter/X substitute that has been expanding under our collective radars. According to traffic analytics data from digital intelligence company Similarweb, LinkedIn’s web traffic was up 10.6% year over year as of March, compared to a 15.2% drop for X.

Since November 2022, when Musk took over Twitter, X’s online traffic has dropped by 10%, while LinkedIn’s has increased by 18%.

March witnessed 727.6 million (deduplicated) unique visits globally, a 7.5% year-over-year drop. Although LinkedIn had a much lower total—269.2 million—that number was up 11.1% year over year, according to Similarweb.

Furthermore, the company stated that as of March, LinkedIn’s global Android app usage had increased by 14% from November 2022, while X had decreased by 20%.

Appfigures, another app data source, did not see a similar pattern across mobile devices, either. According to their statistics, monthly downloads for LinkedIn increased 10% year over year, while those for X decreased by 24%. Appfigures attributes this drop to Twitter’s rebranding to X rather than other consumer behavior. LinkedIn claims that its average downloads have remained consistent both before and after the Musk Twitter acquisition.

Still, it seems logical that some business workers may have moved part of their X web use to LinkedIn as a response to Twitter’s move, since most people work on desktops and laptops throughout the day.

Microsoft, the company that owns LinkedIn, is clearly attempting to attract users who previously used Twitter for networking, particularly the younger Gen Z demographic, by introducing features like games and short-form films today.

It seems like the plan is working. Appfigures also notes that the LinkedIn mobile app makes more money on iOS and Android than X and Snapchat combined.

The comparison is not fair because LinkedIn’s memberships range from $29.99/month to $69.99/month in the app stores. Instead, monthly X memberships cost between $4 and $22, and customers may choose to pay for more expensive yearly subscriptions. Conversely, Snapchat Plus costs only $3.99 a month or $29.99 annually.

Image Credits: Appfigures

Stated differently, LinkedIn has never had a problem outperforming X or Snapchat on mobile, so it doesn’t need to sell as many memberships to increase its income.

Meanwhile, Appfigures does highlight that LinkedIn’s mobile app revenue has been increasing quickly, rising from $20 million in Q1 2021 to $91 million in Q1 2023. As of Q1 2024, app revenue has reached its highest quarter ever, $119 million.

In the first quarter, by contrast, X and Snapchat brought in $23 million and $67 million, respectively, for a total of $90 million, which was less than LinkedIn.

LinkedIn refuses to respond with third-party data.

Juliet P.
Author: Juliet P.

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