Is Threads Losing Its Thread? A Closer Look at Instagram’s Twitter Rival

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July 22, 2023
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An article from the Wall Street Journal on Friday cautioned that Instagram’s fresh contender to Twitter, known as Threads, appears to be losing momentum. The news piece references third-party data from Sensor Tower, illustrating that Threads’ daily active users fell for the second week, hitting 13 million—a considerable 70% decrease from its July 7 zenith. In comparison, Twitter sees about 200 million daily active users. While this might be alarming, it is premature to dismiss Threads completely. According to additional metrics, Threads is still expanding its user base and gaining traction worldwide. Over time, this could elevate its usage, particularly if its features continue to improve.

Threads Losing Its Thread

High usage figures are often expected when a new app debuts as users establish their profiles, connect with friends and explore the app’s functionalities. As the novelty subsides, it’s common to see a drop in usage as users revert to their usual activities and decide how to integrate the new app into their daily routines. Furthermore, The WSJ mentions that Meta’s executives anticipated this decline and are not particularly troubled by it.

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Threads were released on July 5 in worldwide markets, excluding the EU. They quickly amassed 100 million users within days—surpassing Pokémon GO as the fastest app to reach this milestone, as per app intelligence firm data.ai. Threads attracted 18.3% of Twitter’s daily active users during its initial three days, translating to 54.4 million compared to Twitter’s 298 million. Data.ai estimates that Threads maintained approximately one-fifth of Twitter’s weekly active user base as of the previous week.

Threads Losing Its Thread

The number of Threads downloads peaked on July 9, several days post-launch, with 24.5 million people globally installing the app across iOS and Android, as per data.ai. Despite the initial hype cooling down, the app has registered over 1 million new downloads daily, from 1.76 million on July 16 to 1.06 million on July 20. 

While the decline in Threads usage might seem concerning, the initial figures indicate its potential as a Twitter competitor. Factors preventing more people from using Threads could be the need for features compared to Twitter rather than disappointment with the app. 

Threads is still in the beta phase, missing several essential microblogging features. Some users have rallied in defence of Threads against criticism, reminding critics to be patient for the necessary features to be added and pointing out that even Instagram failed overnight.

For Threads to be successful, Twitter doesn’t need to fail. Users can choose between or use both; it isn’t necessarily a zero-sum game.

Despite this, Meta has yet to successfully launch new apps, having closed almost every app it created (instead of simply acquiring). Threads could eventually be another addition to its app graveyard.

Threads Losing Its Thread

However, an app with an estimated 116 million users that continues to grow is far from considered “dead.”

Noor Khan

Noor Khan

Author

My name is Noor, and I am a seasoned entrepreneur focused on the area of artificial intelligence. As a robotics and cyber security researcher, I love to share my knowledge with the community around me.

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