Threads, Meta’s Twitter competitor, saw a sharp decline in user engagement in the month since its launch, with active users declining 82% to just 8 million people using the app each day, according to SimilarWeb and Sensor Tower.
Threads’ active users have not been this low since the day after the app was released, when it peaked at 44 million, the data shows, as reported by CNN. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg launched Threads on July 5 to rival Twitter, now known as X.
Threads hit a quickfire 100 million sign-ups within five days of launch, becoming the fastest growing app in internet history. But it has been downhill ever since. Industry estimates show the app is having trouble keeping users engaged.
People ditch Threads
According to Sensor Tower, the number of times people open Threads and the time they spend on the app have decreased markedly since its launch. On the day Meta unveiled Threads, users opened the app 14 times and spent 19 minutes on it, on average.
However, by the end of July, the numbers had declined sharply. Abe Yousef, a senior insights analyst at Sensor Tower, told CNN that as of August 1, the average time people spent on Threads each day dropped to just 2.9 minutes, and daily sessions also fell to 2.6.
The decline suggests Threads may be finding it hard to meet user expectations. Data from SimilarWeb also shows Threads is in decline. Daily active users of the app reached a high of 49 million on July 7, two days after launch, before crashing to 11 million by July 29.
David Carr, a senior insights manager at SimilarWeb, said Threads saw its sharpest decline in the two weeks following its launch – and the trend is continuing. Sensor Tower revealed the number of active Threads users is still falling at a rate of about 1% each day.
Mark Zuckerberg believes the app will flourish eventually. “We saw unprecedented growth out of the gate and more importantly we’re seeing more people coming back daily than I’d expected,” said the CEO during an earnings call in July.
“And now, we’re focused on retention and improving the basics. And then after that, we’ll focus on growing the community to the scale we think is possible.”
The company is reportedly looking into how it can retain users and keep them engaged by adding “retention-driving hooks.”
Musk says Twitter user numbers growing
Meta launched Threads seeking to capitalize on Twitter’s recent turmoil. Twitter imposed several new restrictions on users, including a temporary rate limit that prevents unverified users from seeing more than 600 posts per day.
Meta said the goal of Threads, which is built on top of Instagram, is to “take what Instagram does best and expand that to text.”
While active Twitter users appeared to tank as Threads ascended, Elon Musk revealed that monthly Twitter users reached a “new high” of over 540 million at the end of July.
𝕏 monthly users reach new high in 2023 pic.twitter.com/trqLGBEvvA
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 28, 2023
Twitter had 229 million monthly active users in May 2022, according to a statement made before Musk purchased the company in October. In November 2022, Musk posted that Twitter had 259.4 million daily active users.