Mark Cuban says he’s losing nearly 1,000 Twitter followers a day—and paying $8 for a blue check hasn’t helped


Mark Cuban isn’t happy with Twitter right now.

The billionaire entrepreneur and investor says his follower count on the social media platform is declining by 800 to 1,000 each day, and that his tweets are reaching “considerably” fewer people than they did a few months ago.

And his experiment to fix the problem — paying for Twitter Blue, which costs $8 per month, to give his account the blue checkmark it used to sport for free — isn’t working.

“I figured I was/am on some Twitter s— list that doesn’t show me to new or existing users as a possible follow,” Cuban told CNBC Make It in an email. “I thought maybe, by paying the annual contract, that would change. It didn’t.”

Normally, Cuban wouldn’t care about his online follower count, he added — he has 8.8 million Twitter followers, as of Friday evening — but it matters at the moment, as he’s trying to spread the word about his online pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs.

The topic has been on Cuban’s mind for at least a few weeks. Last month, he asked Twitter CEO Elon Musk in a tweet for suggestions on how to “retain or grow” his follower count. Musk didn’t reply, at least publicly.

Cuban’s theory of a “Twitter s— list” centers around the idea that Twitter shadow-bans some users, altering the platform’s algorithm so those accounts’ tweets are less visible on other people’s timelines.

In December, Musk tweeted Twitter was “working on a software update” where users would be able to see if their accounts were shadow-banned or not. Twitter, which has yet to unveil that feature, didn’t immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.

“We’re rapidly improving transparency & fairness on this platform, but there is still a lot of work to do,” Musk tweeted on Monday.

Another potential explanation for Cuban’s drop in followers and reach: Twitter could be getting less popular.

Musk has also complained about his posts getting fewer likes and retweets than usual, and allegedly fired a software engineer for offering the explanation that “public interest in his antics is waning,” Platformer reported in February.

But Cuban’s criticism of Twitter doesn’t stop with his own account. Last week, he tweeted that the company’s new “approach to legacy checks is a huge mistake,” after Twitter removed countless blue checkmarks from previously verified accounts and gave them to subscribers only.

The act damaged the blue checks’ value by making them both less exclusive and less credible, Cuban suggested.

“There were 100 ways [Musk] could have asked legacy checks for $100,” Cuban wrote. “Egalitarianism was the worst of them all.”

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank,” which features Mark Cuban as a panelist.

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