SpaceX recently broke the record for the most launches in a single year and now appears to be breaking away from YouTube. This comes as Elon Musk has been working to make X a competitor to YouTube.
The latest Falcon 9 launch this weekend was absent from its typical spot on SpaceX’s YouTube channel, with the latest video coming three months ago. The only place to find the stream was on X (formerly Twitter).
The previous two launches garnered over 100,000 live views on YouTube, although past videos have hit several million views while over 200,000 viewed the September 3 launch on X. A clip of the liftoff that came after the launch video has been watched more than 4.3 million times, according to Independent.
While no word has been given on why the switch was made, it’s worth noting that both SpaceX and X are owned by Elon Musk. SpaceX has been removing its presence from other social media platforms, such as Facebook, moving X closer to becoming the only place to catch the latest launches and news from the space program.
NASA, however, streamed the launch on its YouTube channel.
SpaceX has nearly five times the number of followers on X compared to YouTube. However, YouTube has a much larger reach than X, with more than 2.7 billion users, according to DemandSage. In July, Elon Musk posted a graph showing X has 540 million active accounts, up from 531.2 million last year. As the latest space race heats up, restricting SpaceX coverage to only X could entice more people to sign up.
SpaceX launched sixty-two rockets this year and beat its own record set in 2022. The company now conducts 80% of all payload delivering to low-Earth orbit, according to Independent. Most of these launches expand the Starlink internet constellation, which consists of more than 4,500 satellites.