SpaceX abandons YouTube for live streams of launches in favour of X/Twitter

Latest move comes after Elon Musk deleted Facebook pages for SpaceX and Tesla

Anthony Cuthbertson
Tuesday 05 September 2023 11:59 BST
<p>A large X is seen on the roof of the former Twitter headquarters on 28 July, 2023 in San Francisco, California</p>

A large X is seen on the roof of the former Twitter headquarters on 28 July, 2023 in San Francisco, California

Elon Musk’s SpaceX appears to have ditched YouTube for hosting live streams of its rocket launches in favour of the tech billionaire’s own digital media platform X.

The latest SpaceX launch, which saw the private space firm break the record for the most number of launches in a single year, was not broadcast on YouTube over the weekend, despite the two previous launches receiving more than 100,000 views on the Google-owned platform.

Instead it appeared exclusively on X, formerly known as Twitter, where it received just over 200,000 views. A clip of the liftoff that appeared shortly after garnered more than 4.3 million views.

Coverage of SpaceX’s recent Crew-6 splashdown appeared on YouTube, though only through Nasa’s official channel due to the US space agency’s involvement in the mission.

It had initially been scheduled to also stream on SpaceX’s official YouTube page, however the page was quietly removed in the build up to the event.

SpaceX has around 6.5 million subscribers on YouTube but more than 31 million followers on X.

It is not clear whether this is a permanent transition to host SpaceX videos exclusively on platforms owned by Mr Musk, or if content will return to YouTube in the future. The Independent has reached out to SpaceX for comment.

Mr Musk has previously abandoned other social media platforms, deleting the official Facebook pages of both SpaceX and Tesla in 2018 during the #deletefacebook movement that arose in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“Literally never seen it even once,” he wrote on Twitter at the time. “Will be gone soon.”

Both pages had more than 2.5 million followers before they were taken down.

The Musk-led companies continue to have a presence on Instagram, which is also owned by Meta and run by Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg.

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