Jul 19, 2023, 10:25am EDT

What it means: Threads users are already declining

A man stands in front of a sign of Meta, the new name for the company formerly known as Facebook, at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California, U.S. October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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The News

Meta’s Twitter competitor, Threads, briefly gave Elon Musk’s social media app a run for its money when it debuted earlier this month. But its active users are already dwindling, data from Similarweb, a firm which tracks website usage, shows.

We’ve curated expert insights and reporting on whether Meta’s Threads can win the great Twitter replacement battle.

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  • Threads best day was July 7, when more than 49 million daily active users logged in on Android phones, according to SimilarWeb. In the U.S., that translated to 21 minutes of engagement on the app. But that fell significantly by July 14, when only 23.6 million active users and six minutes of engagement were recorded. For perspective, 23.6 million is about 20% of Twitter’s regular audience. “Threads is missing many basic features and still needs to offer a compelling reason to switch from Twitter or start a new social media habit with Threads,” SimilarWeb analysts wrote.
  • Threads is a cool new hangout — if you’re a brand. The app launched backwards compared to other social media apps: Rather than the users finding communities and building spaces before the brands made their grand entrance, the brands appeared on the app in its early days. When users came to the app, they were greeted with a brand playground, like the PizzaHut account making a confusing, sexual (and now deleted) joke. If brand voices “continue to be the loudest, they may also help define what Threads becomes.” — Wired
  • Threads’ algorithm blends both the people you are following and suggested accounts, so for many users, content from people they followed didn’t actually populate their homepages in the app’s early days. That appears to be changing, but not before people went back to Twitter to make fun of the experience on Meta’s app. “After a week of a truly terrible feed to contend with, I would not be surprised if millions of potential users logged off and will likely never return,” writes journalist Paul Tassi. — Forbes
  • If Threads does win the great Twitter replacement battle, it will be because of Meta’s cross-platform integration, SimilarWeb analysts say. When Threads launched two weeks ago, it quickly become one of the fastest-growing social media apps of all time, thanks in part to its link to Instagram. Users who wanted to join the app needed to link it with their Instagram account, making the transition fairly seamless for people looking Twitter alternatives.