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Sports Twitter Stays Strong Despite Exodus of X Users

Discover how Sports Twitter continues to thrive even as X users shift their focus elsewhere in the digital landscape.

X Twitter's new logo on the phone screen. Source: Shutterstock/sdx15

Many users leave platform X. Sports Twitter remains strong and continues to flourish as a popular destination for sports enthusiasts and discussions.

Adolis García, a player for the Texas Rangers, posted 29 shushing-face emojis on Twitter. He did this in response to booing fans after the team’s victory against the Houston Astros.

He directed the message at the Astros fans who had expressed disapproval during his at-bats. Many Rangers fans joined the conversation. Reporters also shared the post. This led to numerous comments and thoughts about the Rangers’ victory.

X’s Evolving Landscape Since Elon Musk’s Ownership

Elon Musk acquired Twitter the previous year. The platform experienced a decline in users due to unpopular modifications, leading some to question its relevance.

Sports Fans and Reporters Maintain Loyalty to X

Sports fans and reporters rely on X for live updates and intelligent analysis of coaching decisions and umpire calls. Despite any changes that may have occurred, X remains a reliable source for these updates and analyses.

Some journalists and users might have found it more attractive to leave their current followers and start fresh on another platform. Friendships formed among strangers in communities were essential for keeping users on X.

Approximately 42% of X’s user base are sports fans, according to the platform’s statistics. 

Sports enthusiasts are still the most dedicated users of X, even though it caters to various interests. 

The platform’s continued utility in delivering the content users desire and need has contributed to its sustained popularity. People usually stick to what they know and find comforting, especially if it still meets their needs.

X’s Core Functions Remain Unchanged

X still gives score updates and highlights, staying reliable for sports fans despite some feature changes. 

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, an associate professor of sports management at George Washington University, highlighted the real-time nature of X, making it an ideal hub for staying updated on games and breaking sports news.

Challenges in Finding Alternatives to Sports Twitter

Sports Twitter is still popular with sports fans because new options are less appealing, even with changes made by Musk. Threads is a rival to Meta, employing an algorithm to arrange posts in user feeds. Nonetheless, this algorithm could be better for tracking real-time events.

BlueSky, supported by Jack Dorsey, shows posts in reverse order but is invite-only with less user activity.

Kennedi Landry, a reporter for MLB.com, has noticed some people leaving X among those she follows in the past year. However, she continues to find joy in using X to connect with fans. She also uses it to share articles and live-tweet during games. This is true even if she has had negative experiences in the past.

Loyalty and Community in the Sports Twittersphere

Josiah Johnson, host of Gil’s Arena podcast, noticed his X feed has stayed the same despite platform updates. He attempted to use Threads, but it’s challenging to abandon a platform where he has more than 260,000 followers.

Josiah Johnson, a loyal user, finds it challenging to leave Twitter and lose years of connections and work. The platform has become integral to their online identity, and their loyalty remains unwavering.

In sports Twitter, smaller communities have formed, bringing together fans and reporters with similar interests. These communities, often defined by specific teams or sports, include tennis Twitter, F1 Twitter, and Yankees Twitter, among others. There is the vibrant Texas Rangers Twitter for Shannon Enty from Colleyville, Texas.

Building Friendships Through Twitter

Shannon Enty started her journey on Twitter approximately in 2009 or 2010. She used it to follow her favorite hosts on a Dallas sports radio station called The Ticket. Over time, she stayed on Twitter and actively engaged with and posted about her beloved Texas Rangers baseball team. Initially, it felt like “tweeting into the ether,” but as more users joined, a community gradually formed.

Shannon developed genuine friendships with fellow Rangers fans, some of whom she met in person. These friendships started on Twitter, showing how the platform can create real connections beyond the online world.

While many sports fans have retained their presence on Twitter, some users have chosen to depart from the platform. Shannon Enty observed that non-sports people left Twitter, but sports enthusiasts stayed active on the platform.

The Impact of Security Concerns on User Behavior

Cassie Labella, from Chicago but now in Seattle, used Twitter to keep up with the Bears and Cubs. She viewed it as a member of her family during games. 

She became worried about Twitter’s security after Elon Musk took over and eventually quit the platform in the spring. She experimented with Threads in July but found it less appealing than the traditional Twitter. This was before Musk took over.

Ms. Labella emphasized pre-Musk Twitter’s role in connecting people online, highlighting its human aspect. It served as a platform that facilitated meaningful human interactions, a quality she found distinct from other platforms.

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