Threads has lost nearly all of its initial momentum as the app is now struggling to attract new users and keep existing ones on the platform.
Threads, the Twitter rival launched by Meta Platforms Inc, is going through its fair share of struggles as new users are no longer joining the platform.
According to a Tuesday publication from Insider Intelligence, Threads is the only app above Tumblr on a ranking of the most popular social media services according to the number of users in the US. Insider Intelligence also says that Threads will have a total of 23.7 million users in the US. This is less than half of rival platform X’s 56.1 million. Other forecasts include TikTok at 102.3 million, Instagram at 135.2 million, and Facebook at 177.9 million.
The publication also specified that through 2025, Threads will likely remain “second-to-last among social networks”.
Threads went live on the Google Play and Apple App stores in July and quickly surpassed 100 million users within one week. In comparison, it took OpenAI’s ChatGPT over a month to achieve the same feat.
The easy sign-up process helped the initial Threads wave as it only took a few steps for existing Instagram users. Insider Intelligence principal Jasmine Enberg added that the Twitter rival “received an initial boost from Twitter’s missteps”. At the time, Twitter had introduced limits on the number of tweets users can view each day. Although Musk announced that this was to address “system manipulation” and “extreme levels of data scraping”, users were severely displeased.
Threads Could Improve and See More Users if X Charges for Subscription
Enberg believes that Threads could see some respite if Musk decides to introduce a monthly subscription fee on X. Speaking during a live-streamed conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Musk said the plan is for X to charge a small monthly fee to tackle “vast armies of bots.” While the X owner did not provide a timeline or specify how the fees will be introduced, he mentioned that X has 550 million monthly users who make between 100 million and 200 million posts every day. Musk also did not specify how many of these posts are generated by bots.
Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg has noted that there are no current plans to monetize Threads until the app is bigger. However, according to Enberg, Threads may see a strong enough path to monetization if Musk goes along with the plan:
“Assuming Musk doesn’t backtrack, the move will likely alienate more X users and potentially increase advertiser interest in Threads.”
Enberg has also said that for Threads to become a formidable force in the social media industry, it needs to create an identity that supersedes its relationship with Instagram or its rivalry with X.
Either way, Threads has a lot of work to do to compete favorably with other social media giants. According to digital intelligence platform Similarweb, the Meta app dropped to 10 million daily active Android users in mid-August. This was a significant reduction from about 50 million in early July. Similarweb has also noted that users spend only 2.4 minutes a day on the app, an 80% plunge from its peak in July.