Last updated on May 30th, 2023
Time again for my occasional look at the latest facets involving the blog.
Social media traffic mostly unchanged post-Musk (and post-Twitter)
Since Musk bought Twitter in late October, it’s been in a state of turmoil. I finally gave up on using Twitter and switched full-time to Mastodon in mid-November, after the boorish billionaire allowed Donald Trump back on the platform.
Since Twitter was my favorite social network, I wondered if not using it would affect site traffic. So far… not so much.
I note nearly all of my site’s traffic comes from either search engines (read: Google) or someone accessing the site directly (via a link or bookmark). Almost none is from social media, which probably says a lot about A) how popular I am online, B) how I use social media, and C) the nature of social media (algorithms, etc.).
Below are the top five social networks pre- and post-Musk for my site’s traffic, followed by the percentage of total social media traffic they make up:
August 1—November 1, 2022:
- Twitter, 87.9%
- Facebook, 8.3%
- Reddit, 1.9%
- Instagram / Pinterest (tied), 0.8%
- Tumblr, 0.4.%
November 1, 2022—February 1, 2023:
- Twitter, 70.2%
- Facebook, 11.6%
- Reddit, 8.3%
- LinkedIn, 4.4%
- Pinterest, 1.7%
Overall, social media made up 1.1% of site traffic pre-Musk, and dropped to 0.8% post-Musk. The total number of social media visitors also declined.
It seems my not using Twitter is probably what’s led to the decline. However, I don’t think I’m missing much by not using it. As for why Twitter’s numbers are still going post-leaving, I suspect it’s either people clicking through my old tweets or sharing my most popular post: how to block Twitter trolls in bulk. Which now seems ironic or appropriate, depending on how you view things.
Experiences with other social networks
Meanwhile, trying other social networks has been a mixed bag. I’ve not gotten much out of Tumblr, besides seeing some fan comics related to “The Owl House”; it’s mostly been useful as a way to follow a few Twitter users’ blogs. I’m also annoyed at the high number of spam bots I keep getting as followers, with no way to pre-emptively block them that I can find. (Manually deleting said bots is a chore.) I’ve thought about just following my favorite Tumblr blogs via my RSS reader, and leaving my page dormant.
Instagram has been, well, Instagram; needing to create pictures (via Canva) to post and not allowing external links makes it challenging to generate any site traffic. I also infrequently take photos, and I have no interest in “pivoting to video” (as Instagram tries to mimic TikTok). Instagram’s mostly useful as a way of following others online, including people from Twitter, and being present on at least one popular social network.
There are a ton of other social networks, from Reddit to Pinterest to TikTok. However, I’m wondering if there’s much point in trying to make social media more of a thing for myself, given all the aforementioned obstacles and experiences. I still have Instagram for representation on at least one of the most popular social networks. I could also consider reopening my Facebook page (yet again), to have nominal representation on the other main social network.
Otherwise, I have Mastodon, and can wait to see if any appealing social networks emerge; my ideal social network would: A) be text-friendly, with audio/video optional, B) not have algorithms or downvoting, and C) not have (or minimize) trolls, racists, and homophobes. It’s unlikely to see such emerge, given the current direction of things, but I can still hope. I also can push blog visitors toward RSS and email (aka my newsletter), two old internet standbys.
Are there any social networks you’d like to see me using (or not using)? Or have any thoughts about my presence on social media? Feel free to list them in the comments.