Earlier this year, a report from Pew Research revealed a significant decline in Twitter usage among US users following Elon Musk’s takeover. However, the impact of this shift extends beyond the general public, as new data now indicates that scientific researchers are also reducing their presence on the platform, now known as X.
According to a recent survey conducted by Nature, over half of the surveyed scientific researchers using Twitter reported a decrease in their time spent on the platform or have completely abandoned it. Furthermore, nearly half of those polled stated that they have turned to alternative social networks, with Mastodon being the most popular choice. Out of the 9,200 researchers surveyed, more than 47 percent reported a decrease in Twitter usage, while nearly 7 percent have completely quit the platform. Interestingly, almost the same number have created accounts on new platforms in the past year, with Mastodon, LinkedIn, and Instagram being the top choices.
These findings from Nature echo the earlier data from Pew Research, indicating a downward trend in Twitter usage among active users. The report also sheds light on the changing dynamics of the platform since Elon Musk’s takeover. Historically, Twitter has played a crucial role for researchers and scientists, enabling them to publicize their work, engage in scientific debates, and provide authoritative information. However, the recent changes implemented by X, such as prioritizing content from verified accounts and making their API inaccessible for most researchers due to high costs, have alienated a significant portion of the scientific community. While some researchers are not ready to completely abandon Twitter, it is evident that the company’s tactics have led to a decline in its popularity among scientists.
As of now, X has not responded to requests for comment regarding these findings.
Researchers Reduce Twitter Usage, Turn to Alternative Platforms
A recent survey conducted by Nature reveals that a significant number of scientific researchers are decreasing their usage of Twitter or leaving the platform altogether. Out of the 9,200 researchers polled, more than 47 percent reported reducing their time on Twitter, while nearly 7 percent said they had quit the platform completely. Additionally, almost the same number of researchers stated that they had joined at least one new platform in the past year.
The most popular alternative social network among researchers was Mastodon, an open-source platform that has experienced substantial growth since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Approximately 47 percent of researchers surveyed said they had started using Mastodon in the last year. LinkedIn and Instagram followed as the next preferred platforms, attracting 35 and 27 percent of researchers, respectively. Surprisingly, Threads, Meta’s Twitter competitor that launched shortly before the survey, secured the fourth spot.
The data from Nature’s survey aligns with previous findings by Pew Research, which indicated that overall Twitter usage in the United States has declined since Elon Musk’s influence on the platform. This shift in dynamics is significant because Twitter has traditionally been an essential platform for researchers and scientists. It has served as a means to publicize research, promote scientific debates, and provide authoritative information in a landscape often plagued by misinformation. Furthermore, Twitter has been a valuable source of data for researchers studying various subjects, such as public health and linguistics.
However, many researchers now feel that their voices are being drowned out on Twitter, as the platform tends to prioritize content from verified accounts. Moreover, Twitter’s decision to make its API (Application Programming Interface) more costly has limited researchers’ access to data. While some researchers are not ready to completely abandon Twitter, it’s evident that the company’s tactics have alienated a significant portion of the scientific community.
In conclusion, the Nature survey highlights the growing discontent among scientific researchers regarding Twitter’s changes and Elon Musk’s influence. Researchers are actively seeking alternative platforms where they can engage with their peers and share their work more effectively. As Twitter faces these challenges, it will need to address the concerns of the scientific community if it wishes to maintain its status as a valuable resource for researchers.
- A survey conducted by Nature reveals that many scientific researchers are reducing their usage of Twitter or leaving the platform altogether.
- Mastodon, an open-source platform, is the most popular alternative social network among researchers.
- Twitter’s changes, including prioritizing verified accounts and increasing the cost of its API, have alienated a significant portion of the scientific community.
- Twitter must address the concerns of researchers if it wants to maintain its status as a valuable resource for the scientific community.