An Analysis of Elon Musk’s Entire Twitter Feed
Elon Musk is known for many things, but one of his most buzzworthy claims to fame is his online Twitter presence.
Because of its candid nature, Musk’s Twitter feed provides the public with a unique opportunity to catch an unfiltered look into his eccentric mind.
What can we learn from an in-depth look at Elon Musk’s Twitter feed? What subjects does he focus on the most, and how has his Twitter use changed over the past decade?
We sifted through his entire tweet history to find out.
To gain a high-level understanding of Musk’s Twitter profile, our research team sifted through his entire Twitter feed and compiled 15,000 of his tweets into a comprehensive dataset.
Why go to all the effort? Here are a few reasons why we spent months sifting through Elon Musk’s Twitter feed:
- People care about what he has to say: Musk has over 77 million followers on Twitter, and his account is currently the 11th most followed (coming in between Ellen DeGeneres and Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India). Even run-of-the-mill replies to regular Twitter users receive thousands of shares, likes, and comments. Clearly, people are interested in his ideas and interactions.
- Musk tweets often, and candidly: These days, it’s not uncommon for Musk to share more than 30 tweets in a single day. And his Twitter conversations cover a wide range of topics, from serious conversations about technical aspects of his products to lighthearted memes. This is highly unusual for a person in his position.
- Some of his tweets have had a big impact: Elon’s tweets consistently make headlines and ruffle the feathers of big shots in business and politics. Elon’s Twitter fingers have moved the needle on everything from Tesla’s stock price to cryptocurrency markets.
- He’s become a public icon: He’s currently the richest person in the world, and last year, he was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. The companies that Musk runs are also hugely influential and disruptive. In other words, no matter how you feel about him personally, he’s a pretty big deal.
Because of the above, we thought digging into the depths of Elon Musk’s Twitter feed was a worthy pursuit. Below, we’ll get into our methodology, and how we went about analyzing the mountains of tweets.
How We Did It: Notes on Our Methodology
Once we scraped a decade worth of Elon Musk tweets, we dug through the data and sorted the information to answer two main questions:
- What are Elon Musk’s most tweeted topics?
- How has his Twitter activity changed over the years?
To answer the first question, we sorted Elon’s tweets into categories (based on keywords) and ranked each category based on the volume of mentions.
The results are visualized in the circle chart in the middle of the graphic, which shows Musk’s most tweeted subjects over the last decade.
To answer our second question (how has Elon’s Twitter activity changed over the years) we sorted Elon’s feed into three main topics—Tesla, SpaceX, and everything else—and showed which topics dominated his feed each year.
Main Takeaways from the Analysis
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found that the two main things Elon talks about the most are Tesla and SpaceX. He’s mentioned both companies consistently over the last decade, and as the timeline shows, Tesla and SpaceX take turns in the spotlight, depending on what’s going on for the companies at the time.
While the topics and themes of his content have remained fairly consistent, the frequency of tweets has grown over the years.
|Year||Number of tweets||Busiest month on Twitter|
Musk now uses Twitter very consistently, tweeting at least once on all but 14 days in 2021. His follower count has growth steadily over the years too:
As the above graphic shows, his follower growth started to escalate between late 2017 and mid-2018 as Musk began to burst into the public consciousness. Why? A lot was happening both personally and professionally for the busy founder:
- December 2017: Announcement on Twitter that the Boring Company was planning to release a limited edition flamethrower. 20,000 units were sold before the product was discontinued.
- February 2018: Tesla Roadster was launched into space.
- July 2018: 12 boys and their teacher get trapped in a cave in Thailand, and Elon gets heavily involved in efforts to try and rescue them. This includes an awkward—now deleted—tweet referring to a British cave diver as a pedophile. (Musk later won a defamation case in 2019.)
- August 2018: Elon announces on Twitter that he’s considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share. Tesla’s share price promptly dropped after this now infamous tweet was sent.
- Sept 2018: Musk appears on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and smokes weed with him. The spectacle grabs headlines after the podcast is published.
- From 2016 to 2018: A highly publicized, on-again-off-again relationship with actress Amber Heard.
No matter how outlandish or shocking his comments have been, Musk’s companies continue to see success, and people have continued to show interest in keeping up with the founder’s thoughts—and dank memes—on Twitter.
Highlights (and Lowlights) of Musk’s Twitter History
In the next section below, we’ll cover some of Elon’s most iconic Twitter moments, hand-selected by our research team.
The End of the Fake Elon Era
Elon Musk’s first real tweet was shared in 2010. Prior to that, someone was pretending to be him and using the Twitter handle @elonmusk to tweet random and controversial things.
Luckily, the imposter didn’t gain much traction, and the real Elon Musk cleared the air on June 4, 2010, with a tweet announcing his authentic arrival onto the platform:
Please ignore prior tweets, as that was someone pretending to be me :) This is actually me.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2010
After this initial tweet, Musk didn’t tweet again until the end of 2011, though his account was still verified that year. His Twitter activity remained relatively low until 2012.
A Splashdown to Remember
In May 2012, Musk went to Twitter to share his excitement after the Dragon spacecraft successfully returned home.
Splashdown successful!! Sending fast boat to Dragon lat/long provided by P3 tracking planes #Dragon
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2012
This landing made history, as SpaceX became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
The engagement on this tweet highlights how much larger Musk’s audience is today. The tweet above, which is highlighting some very exciting news, only has about 350 retweets.
The Boring Company Flamethrower
In late 2017, Musk started selling Boring Company merchandise, mostly as a joke. But products were selling, and Elon decided to take things one step further, and announced to Twitter that he’d release a Boring Company flamethrower if 50,000 Boring branded hats sold:
After 50k hats, we will start selling The Boring Company flamethrower
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2017
The hats did sell out, so true to his word, Musk released a limited edition flamethrower at $500 bucks apiece. All 20,000 units sold out.
The $20 Million Quip
In August 2018, Musk told Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private, at $420 a share.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
This tweet was a cheeky reference to marijuana, but it ended up costing a fortune. The SEC sued him with fraudulent charges, claiming this irresponsible tweet misled investors.
He ended up paying millions in fines, and had to step down as Tesla’s chairman as a result of the drama.
Candid COVID Opinions
Musk hasn’t been shy about sharing his thoughts on the global pandemic. On March 6, 2020, he tweeted “the coronavirus panic is dumb.” Since then, he’s been vocal about his distrust in antigen tests, and isn’t afraid to share his frustrations around lockdowns with his followers:
FREE AMERICA NOW
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 29, 2020
He’s also said that the virus isn’t that deadly and that COVID-19 related deaths were inflated because doctors were wrongfully attributing deaths to the virus instead of other causes.
Becoming the World’s Richest Human
In 2021, Musk surpassed Jeff Bezos to become the richest person in the world. His reaction was quite understated. In response to a tweet from @teslaownersSV sharing the news, he simply said, “how strange.”
From there, he tweeted:
Back to work I go …
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 8, 2021
Musk is still currently the richest person on the planet as of this article’s publication date, with a net worth of $213 billion.
Elon Musk’s foray into Bitcoin boosterism ramped up on January 29, 2021, when he added “#bitcoin” to his Twitter profile page, a move that appeared to have an impact on the price of BTC.
Days later, Musk announced that Tesla acquired $1.5 billion in bitcoin, with plans to accept it as payment.
You can now buy a Tesla with Bitcoin
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2021
The news caused the price of Bitcoin to jump 17% to $44,000, a record high at the time. Bitcoin remained in the spotlight through the year as the cryptocurrency continued to gather support from major financial institutions.
Just days prior, Musk also added fuel to the speculative fire surrounding the GameStop stock. By simply tweeting the word “Gamestonk” paired with a link to Reddit’s infamous r/wallstreetbets, GME’s price exploded more than 150% higher.
The Multi-Billion Dollar Question
After facing backlash over his significant stockpile of wealth, Musk turned to Twitter to ask users if he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock in order to pay taxes.
Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10% of my Tesla stock.
Do you support this?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2021
The majority of Twitter users voted yes, and the billionaire actually followed through and sold more than $16 billion worth of Tesla stock.
In late February, as Russia launched its offensive in Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation called the SpaceX founder out on Twitter, asking for support.
Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2022
Musk would reply within 24 hours, and soon after, Fedorov would tweet a photo of Starlink terminals arriving safely in the country.
Mapped: The 3 Billion People Who Can’t Afford a Healthy Diet
More than three billion people across the globe are unable to afford a healthy diet. See which countries are most affected.
The 3 Billion People Who Can’t Afford a Healthy Diet
While they aren’t often the focus of news media, hunger and undernourishment are problems plaguing millions of people every day.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than 3 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020, an additional 112 million more people than in 2019. The increase was partly because of rising food prices, with the average cost of a healthy diet rising by 3.3% from 2019 levels.
As of August 2022, the FAO food price index was up 40.6% from average 2020 levels. Unless income levels increased by a similar magnitude, the healthy diet crisis is likely to have worsened, especially in low-income countries experiencing rampant food inflation.
Using data from the FAO, the above infographic maps the share of people unable to afford a healthy diet in 138 different countries as of 2020 (latest available data).
The Cost and Affordability of a Healthy Diet
According to the FAO, a healthy diet is one that meets daily energy needs as well as requirements within the food and dietary guidelines created by the country.
The (un)affordability is measured by comparing the cost of a healthy diet to income levels in the country. If the cost exceeds 52% of an average household’s income, the diet is deemed unaffordable.
Here’s a look at the share of populations unable to afford a healthy diet, and the cost of such a diet around the world:
|Country||Percent of population unable to afford a healthy diet||Cost of Healthy Diet (USD per Person per Day)|
|Central African Republic 🇨🇫||95.1%||$3.6|
|Democratic Republic of Congo 🇨🇩||90.0%||$2.1|
|Sierra Leone 🇸🇱||89.2%||$2.9|
|Sao Tome and Principe 🇸🇹||84.7%||$3.6|
|Burkina Faso 🇧🇫||80.1%||$3.3|
|South Africa 🇿🇦||65.2%||$4.3|
|Sri Lanka 🇱🇰||49.0%||$3.9|
|Cabo Verde 🇨🇻||38.1%||$3.6|
|Saint Lucia 🇱🇨||20.6%||$3.6|
|Dominican Republic 🇩🇴||18.3%||$3.9|
|North Macedonia 🇲🇰||18.0%||$3.4|
|Costa Rica 🇨🇷||16.8%||$4.1|
|Trinidad and Tobago 🇹🇹||11.6%||$4.2|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦||3.7%||$4.0|
|South Korea 🇰🇷||1.7%||$5.2|
|United States 🇺🇸||1.5%||$3.4|
|United Kingdom 🇬🇧||0.5%||$1.9|
|United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪||0.0%||$3.1|
In 52 countries, more than half of the population cannot afford a healthy diet. The majority of these are in Africa, with the rest located across Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.
By contrast, in four countries—Azerbaijan, Iceland, Switzerland, and the UAE—everyone is able to afford a healthy diet. The picture is similar for most European and developed high-income countries, where more than 95% of the population can afford a healthy diet.
When the percentages are translated into numbers, Asia contains the most number of people unable to afford a healthy diet at 1.89 billion, of which 973 million people are in India alone. Another 1 billion people are in Africa, with around 151 million people in the Americas and Oceania.
While hunger is a worldwide concern, it is particularly acute in African countries, which cover all of the top 20 spots in the above table.
Africa’s Deepening Food Crisis
In many countries across sub-Saharan Africa, more than 90% of the population cannot afford a healthy diet.
Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly susceptible to extreme climate events and the resulting volatility in food prices. Roughly one-third of the world’s droughts occur in the region, and some sub-Saharan countries are also heavily reliant on imports for food.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has deepened the crisis, with many African countries importing over 50% of their wheat from the two countries in conflict. The rising food prices from this supply chain disruption have resulted in double-digit food inflation in many African nations, which means that more people are likely to be unable to afford healthy diets.
The Horn of Africa region at the Eastern tip of Africa is particularly in turmoil. All the countries in the region are reliant on wheat from Russia and Ukraine, with Eritrea (100%) and Somalia (>90%) high up in the import dependency chart. Additionally, the region is facing its worst drought in 40 years alongside ongoing political conflicts. As a result, 22 million people are at risk of starvation.
Population Growth and Food Insecurity
By 2050, the global population is likely to increase by 35%, and to meet the growing demand for food, crop production will need to double. Given that agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, this increase in crop production will also need to be environmentally sustainable.
As the impacts of climate change intensify and food demand increases, reducing food waste, building climate-resilient agricultural infrastructure, and improving agricultural productivity will all play a key role in reducing the levels of food insecurity sustainably.
Visualizing the Range of Electric Cars vs. Gas-Powered Cars
With range anxiety being a barrier to EV adoption, how far can an electric car go on one charge, and how do EV ranges compare with gas cars?
The Range of Electric Cars vs. Gas-Powered Cars
EV adoption has grown rapidly in recent years, but many prospective buyers still have doubts about electric car ranges.
In fact, 33% of new car buyers chose range anxiety—the concern about how far an EV can drive on a full charge—as their top inhibitor to purchasing electric cars in a survey conducted by EY.
So, how far can the average electric car go on one charge, and how does that compare with the typical range of gas-powered cars?
The Rise in EV Ranges
Thanks to improvements in battery technology, the average range of electric cars has more than doubled over the last decade, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
|Year||Avg. EV Range||Maximum EV Range|
|2010||79 miles (127 km)||N/A|
|2011||86 miles (138 km)||94 miles (151 km)|
|2012||99 miles (159 km)||265 miles (426 km)|
|2013||117 miles (188 km)||265 miles (426 km)|
|2014||130 miles (209 km)||265 miles (426 km)|
|2015||131 miles (211 km)||270 miles (435 km)|
|2016||145 miles (233 km)||315 miles (507 km)|
|2017||151 miles (243 km)||335 miles (539 km)|
|2018||189 miles (304 km)||335 miles (539 km)|
|2019||209 miles (336 km)||370 miles (595 km)|
|2020||210 miles (338 km)||402 miles (647 km)|
|2021||217 miles (349 km)||520 miles* (837 km)|
As of 2021, the average battery-powered EV could travel 217 miles (349 km) on a single charge. It represents a 44% increase from 151 miles (243 km) in 2017 and a 152% increase relative to a decade ago.
Despite the steady growth, EVs still fall short when compared to gas-powered cars. For example, in 2021, the median gas car range (on one full tank) in the U.S. was around 413 miles (664 km)—nearly double what the average EV would cover.
As automakers roll out new models, electric car ranges are likely to continue increasing and could soon match those of their gas-powered counterparts. It’s important to note that EV ranges can change depending on external conditions.
What Affects EV Ranges?
In theory, EV ranges depend on battery capacity and motor efficiency, but real-world results can vary based on several factors:
- Weather: At temperatures below 20℉ (-6.7℃), EVs can lose around 12% of their range, rising to 41% if heating is turned on inside the vehicle.
- Operating Conditions: Thanks to regenerative braking, EVs may extend their maximum range during city driving.
- Speed: When driving at high speeds, EV motors spin faster at a less efficient rate. This may result in range loss.
On the contrary, when driven at optimal temperatures of about 70℉ (21.5℃), EVs can exceed their rated range, according to an analysis by Geotab.
The 10 Longest-Range Electric Cars in America
Here are the 10 longest-range electric cars available in the U.S. as of 2022, based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) range estimates:
|Car||Range On One Full Charge||Estimated Base Price|
|Lucid Air||520 miles (837 km)||$170,500|
|Tesla Model S||405 miles (652 km)||$106,190|
|Tesla Model 3||358 miles (576 km)||$59,440|
|Mercedes EQS||350 miles (563 km)||$103,360|
|Tesla Model X||348 miles (560 km)||$122,440|
|Tesla Model Y||330 miles (531 km)||$67,440|
|Hummer EV||329 miles (529 km)||$110,295|
|BMW iX||324 miles (521 km)||$84,195|
|Ford F-150 Lightning||320 miles (515 km)||$74,169|
|Rivian R1S||316 miles (509 km)||$70,000|
Source: Car and Driver
The top-spec Lucid Air offers the highest range of any EV with a price tag of $170,500, followed by the Tesla Model S. But the Tesla Model 3 offers the most bang for your buck if range and price are the only two factors in consideration.
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