4,925 Tweets: Elon Musk’s Twitter Habit, Dissected

Elon Musk’s tweets in 2018

Elon Musk is a habitual tweeter. Each square in this chart represents a tweet sent from his account this year.

He’s tweeted more each year since 2015.

He tweets at all hours, during the work day and late at night.

Among big-company tech CEOs, only Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweets more than Musk.

An unusually large proportion of Musk’s tweets are replies (highlighted in yellow).


Musk’s replies to accounts with…

The billionaire will reply to just about anyone. About 41% of his replies are to users with 500 or fewer followers.

Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves. Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great. Thai navy seals escorted us in — total opposite of wanting us to leave.

You know what, don’t bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.

Musk’s casual tone is unlike that of other CEOs. And that can sometimes get him in trouble, as happened when he suggested a cave rescuer was a pedophile. (He later deleted them and apologized.)

Zuckerberg blasts @elonmusk warnings against artificial intelligence as ‘pretty irresponsible’ https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2… @svbizjournal

Replying to @dcunni

I’ve talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited.

He isn’t shy about hurling insults.

In cities, @elonmusk’s hatred of sharing space with strangers is a luxury (or pathology) that only the rich can afford. Letting him design cities is the essence of elite projection. http://humantransit.org/2017/07/the-dangers-of-elite-projection.html …

Replying to @humantransit

You’re an idiot

He isn’t shy about hurling insults.

Can’t believe someone leaked this schematic of the Tesla production system!!

And while he likes to joke on Twitter…

Tesla Goes Bankrupt
Palo Alto, California, April 1, 2018 — Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can’t believe it.

… his wisecracks can sometimes backfire. After he joked on April Fool’s Day, a Sunday, that Tesla went bankrupt during a delicate financial period, the company’s stock fell 7% the next day.

Following @elonmusk on Instagram shows an amazing life. I wonder if the ups and down he had make for a more enjoyable life?

Replying to @EricDiepeveen

The reality is great highs, terrible lows and unrelenting stress. Don’t think people want to hear about the last two.

He can get personal about his entrepreneurial life…

A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien … and magic!

He can get personal about his entrepreneurial life…

Number of times Musk tweeted about…

…while also tweeting about his various businesses. 52% of his tweets over the past year refer to his companies.

What would you love to see in a Tesla pickup truck? I have a few things in mind, but what do you think are small, but important nuances & what would be seriously next level?

He uses Twitter as a marketing tool…

hey, how come online reservations of Model 3 are getting priority over us line waiters? My guess: underutilized logistics/delivery pipeline in some areas. Am I close at all?

Replying to @monitron

Should just be due to your config not avail yet. If not lmk.

…for customer service…

No…they’re getting invited first. Online people w/April-June are getting invited before Day 1 March-May reservation holders. I’m Day 1 & got inside the store at 12pm…still no invite. Tons of us like this.

Replying to @mathetes76

Looking into it now

…for customer service…

Thanks for looking into it. I hope at least now all non-owners who reserved before the reveal will get invites to configure now.

Replying to @srinivasguduru

Definitely. Will take corrective action immediately. Sorry about this.

…for customer service…

…and to spar with critics…

The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them

Tesla (TSLA) could rally as media negativity is ‘increasingly immaterial’, says Baird lectrek.co/2018/05/23/tes… by @fredericlambert

… blasting the media…

Even if some of the public doesn’t care about the credibility score, the journalists, editors & publications will. It is how they define themselves.

… blasting the media…

Shorts seem to be freaking out about the assembly line being in a “tent”. Can you elaborate on the situation with the line?

Replying to @FredericLambert

They have about three weeks before their short position explodes

…and lashing out at short-sellers.

The actual amount of time I spend on Twitter is tiny. My tweets are literally what I’m thinking at the moment, not carefully crafted corporate bs, which is really just banal propaganda.”

Heading back into the factory, so that’s enough for now. Don’t take my Tweet too seriously. For one thing, it’s called a “Tweet”.

Here’s how Musk sums up his tweeting.


Our dataset includes all original tweets and replies from @elonmusk as of July 12, 2018. It excludes retweets before March 2015 and any deleted tweets.

We read every tweet from @elonmusk in the last 12 months and manually labeled tweets that referred to Musk’s companies or were in response to his critics. We looked at both the tweet text and the context of the tweet (if that was part of a Twitter thread, for instance) for this classification.


Scott Austin and Samarth Bansal


Elliot Bentley

Additional Development

Jieqian Zhang

Photo editing

Angela Owens

Title photo

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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