After a record-breaking launch, Mark Zuckerberg’s new app Threads has seen its numbers wane — significantly. Threads attracted over 100 million users within five days of its launch, demolishing ChatGPT’s record of fastest-growing consumer app and earning it the nickname “Twitter killer.”
However, recent data from industry sources suggest many of these users haven’t stayed active on the platform since the white-hot launch.
Engagement settles lower
Threads saw its best day ever on July 7, when it had 49 million active users on the app. By July 14, that number had dropped by 50% to 23.6 million, according to analysis by SimilarWeb. That means within a week of its peak, the platform saw only a quarter of its users coming back to check and interact with it every day. Even Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the number of people returning to the app is in the “tens of millions.”
This means that the so-called “Twitter killer” still has plenty of work ahead of itself. X (formerly Twitter) is a private company that doesn’t release these numbers publicly, but the latest figures from the company’s last earnings report suggest the daily active user base stood at roughly 238 million. According to Elon Musk, that number surged to 259.4 million recently.
Effectively, Threads has only 10% of the daily active users of its biggest rival. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Musk will get the last laugh.
Why Twitter should be worried
There’s evidence to suggest that rivals like Threads are seeping users and engagement from the legacy social app. Web traffic to X was down 5% within the first two days of Threads being launched, according to data from SimilarWeb. Although this has recovered a little since then, traffic is still 11% lower year-over-year.
The fact that a rival app captured 10% of the user base within weeks should also be a concern. Zuckerberg has a track record of successfully scaling social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp each boasts billions of daily active users.
And Meta is hustling to enhance its user offerings in hopes of retaining its users. Planned updates include mention buttons, improving the search functionality and offering a web version, according to a Reuters report.
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Meanwhile, Elon Musk recently admitted that X’s revenue had dropped 50% while the company was cash flow negative due to a “heavy debt load.” Musk’s decision to scale back content moderation may have scared off advertisers, according to a Bloomberg report. Researchers have seen a significant uptick in hate speech and violent content on the site in recent months.
Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban mocked Musk on X by saying “Go red, no bread,” while retweeting Musk’s announcement about revenue declines.
Cuban has been a vocal critic of Musk’s policies ever since he took over the social media brand last year.
“Who he supports or denigrates is the [X] equivalent of State intervention. He owns the platform, he can do what he chooses,” he said in a tweet earlier this year. “But it’s disingenuous to say [X] is the home of free speech when he chooses to often put his thumb on the scale of reach.”
Cuban is an active user of both Threads and X.
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