Are you considering deactivating your Twitter account? If so, you’re not alone.

Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO and the world’s richest person, is set to take control of Twitter in a deal announced Monday. Many of the social media site’s politically progressive users aren’t too happy about the news. In fact, some are threatening to leave Twitter altogether.

The impact may hit harder in Seattle than many other parts of the country because, as it turns out, Twitter is quite popular here. According to the most recent data from market-research firm Nielsen, Seattle ranks second out of 112 U.S. metro areas for the percentage of Twitter users.

Surveys conducted from June 2020 to October 2021 show that 32.5% of Seattle-area adults said they had visited Twitter at least once in the past 30 days. The only metro area with a higher percentage was Raleigh, North Carolina.


There were only 13 metros where 30% or more of the adult population said they were on Twitter. Among them are some areas with similar demographics as Seattle, such as San Francisco, Boston, Denver and Washington, D.C.


The Seattle metro area includes King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. There are nearly 3.2 million people aged 18 and older in our metro, and a little over 1 million said they had visited Twitter in the past 30 days.

As popular as Twitter is in Seattle, it had less than half the number of visitors that Facebook did, according to the market-research data. Three-quarters of Seattle adults said they’d been on Facebook in the past 30 days. Instagram was also more popular than Twitter among Seattle-area adults, with 47% saying they’d visited the site.

It may be less popular than other sites, but Twitter seems to have an outsized influence on our political and cultural discourse because so many prominent figures in politics, business, media and entertainment use the platform.

Twitter has come under fire from conservatives who say it has a left-wing bias. For example, some point out how Twitter has restricted the posting of content that could be harmful to Democrats. Twitter has also banned some high-profile conservatives from the platform, most notably former President Donald Trump.

Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” says he wants Twitter to be less restrictive. But many on the left view this as opening the floodgates to hate speech — and they are also concerned that Musk will reactivate Trump’s Twitter account. That’s enough to make some contemplate deleting the app.

Data shows that Twitter has been somewhat more popular among liberals than conservatives. Nationally, adults who are Democrats or lean Democratic are 15% more likely to have used Twitter in the past 30 days than those who are Republican or lean Republican, according to Nielsen.


The data also shows us who uses Twitter in the Seattle area.

Nielsen surveyed nearly 200,000 adults nationally, and more than 2,700 in the Seattle metro area.

Twitter users in the Seattle area skew male — around 54% of adults in our metro who said they’ve recently used Twitter were men; 46% were women. Nationally, Twitter skews even more male than it does in Seattle.

Adult Twitter users, like most social media users, tend to be younger. The median age of an adult Twitter user in the Seattle area was 39.5 years, more than five years younger than the overall median age of adults here. Twitter users were half as likely to be age 65 or older when compared with total metro-area population. Probably because they’re younger, Twitter users in the Seattle were also more likely to be single.

Forty-five percent of Twitter users here were college graduates, about 5 percentage points higher than the total population. Twitter users were also more likely than the total adult population to work in professional, “white-collar” occupations.

I was a little surprised to see that Twitter users in the Seattle area were only slightly more liberal than the overall population. About 58% of those who used Twitter said they were Democrats or leaned Democratic, compared with 56% of the total adult population.

Maybe it’s a reminder that despite all the focus on the political side of Twitter, that’s not why most people use the app. They go to Twitter to hear from their favorite celebrities and musical artists, to discuss sports and keep up with many other nonpolitical topics. That’s not likely to change under Twitter’s new ownership.