In early July, Meta’s social media app, Threads, burst onto the scene with an impressive 5 million user registrations within hours of its launch.
It quickly became the most rapidly downloaded app, with over 100 million people signing up in less than a week. However, the initial excitement surrounding Threads has since dwindled, as the app’s daily usage continues to decline.
A Steady Decline in Engagement
According to data from Similarweb, Threads experienced a significant decline in engagement, with active users dropping by 79% from its peak of 2.3 million in early July to 576,000 as of 7 August. This decline in user activity is concerning for Meta, especially considering the initial hype and high user acquisition rate.
Brands Reduce Posts on Threads
Not only are users abandoning Threads, but major US companies like Wendy’s, Anthropologie, and Rare Beauty have also decreased the number of posts they publish on the app. Adweek reports that these brands are experiencing “Threads fatigue,” indicating a growing dissatisfaction with the platform.
Despite its early success, Threads has failed to compete with Twitter. On its busiest day, Threads had less than half the number of users compared to Twitter, which boasts over 100 million active daily users. This discrepancy highlights the challenge Threads faces in unseating Twitter as the go-to text-based social media platform.
The Twitter Takeover and Controversial Changes
Threads was initially positioned to capitalise on the chaos at Twitter following its takeover by Elon Musk. Since Musk’s acquisition in October 2022, Twitter has undergone significant changes, including staff layoffs and controversial policy shifts. These changes have resulted in a decline in advertising revenue and a rise in user dissatisfaction due to frequent glitches and increased hate speech on the platform.
The rivalry between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk has been well-documented. The two tech moguls even considered a cage fight, but according to Zuckerberg, the idea has been abandoned. In a post on Threads, Zuckerberg stated that Musk didn’t appear to be serious about the fight, saying, “I think we can all agree Elon isn’t serious and it’s time to move on.”
The Future of Threads
Threads’ decline in usage raises questions about its long-term viability. While Meta has not yet commented on the app’s performance, the downward trend in engagement and the departure of prominent brands from the platform suggest that Threads may struggle to regain its initial momentum.
In conclusion, Threads started with a bang but has since suffered a significant decline in daily usage. Despite its promise as a refuge from Twitter, the app has failed to maintain its early success. The challenges faced by Threads, coupled with the controversial changes at Twitter, highlight the difficulties in disrupting the text-based social media landscape. Only time will tell if Threads can recover and establish itself as a formidable competitor in the industry.