In the ongoing battle between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk over the future of social media, The Zuck’s strategy appears to have Musk on the ropes. According to a new study, Meta’s Threads is proving to be a more effective platform for brands than Twitter, at least for now.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, announced in a Threads post on Monday that the new platform reached 100 million sign-ups in just five days since its launch on July 5, making it the fastest-growing application in history.
Threads’ success may be partly because of its connections to Instagram. Unlike other Twitter rivals, the app allows users to sign up with their Instagram account, making the sign-up process simple and seamless.
Threads draws more engagement
New research by Website Planet, a portal for web developers, reveals that Threads has attracted more online engagement compared to Twitter as of July 7.
The study analyzed the interactions of 30 brands with accounts on both Twitter and Threads, focusing on factors such as the number of followers, likes, and replies. It examined the same or different posts published simultaneously by the companies on both platforms.
Website Planet found that 87% of the brands had more engagement on their posts on Threads as compared to Twitter. The average engagement rate on Threads was 0.45% versus 0.02% for Twitter. The trend could affect Twitter’s revenue if it continues.
“On average, these brands saw eight times more likes on the new platform,” it said.
According to the research, news media and companies in the entertainment industry “seemed to be more eager” to use Threads than other types of brands. “Not only did they sign up faster than brands in other industries, but they also seem to post more frequently,” it said.
“While Twitter is an undisputed giant in the industry, Threads shows promise as a platform that can foster meaningful conversations,” the study concluded.
“Meta’s newest social media platform is still gaining momentum but is already fairly popular, and it could give brands the opportunity to reach an even wider audience.”
Musk hits Zuckerberg below the belt
Threads, a direct competitor to Twitter, launched in over 100 countries last week, hitting 100 million downloads in record-breaking time, much to Elon Musk’s chagrin.
During the first two full days that Threads was widely available – July 6 and July 7 – traffic on Twitter fell 5% compared with the same period a week earlier, according to web analytics firm Similarweb.
Twitter’s traffic has already been in decline since the beginning of the year, Similarweb said. Threads is the latest salvo in the ongoing feud between Zuckerberg and Musk.
The two billionaires have agreed to take their professional rivalry physical in a UFC-style cage fight.
But Twitter owner Elon Musk, who described Threads as “just Instagram without pics,” recently escalated the feud, taking to Twitter to troll Zuckerberg. Musk called the Meta CEO a “cuck” and proposed a “literal dick measuring contest” between the two businessmen.
He was responding to a post of a laughing emoji shared earlier by Zuckerberg on Threads in reply to fast-food chain Wendy’s, which posted: “hey @zuck, you should go to space to just really make him mad lol.”
Wendy’s post was clearly designed to make fun of Musk’s company SpaceX, which builds and launches rockets and other spacecraft. Musk also claimed that Meta suppressed content because “censorship pays them well.”
I propose a literal dick measuring contest 📏
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 10, 2023
As MetaNews reported last week, Twitter is considering legal action against Meta, alleging the company stole trade secrets to develop its rival Threads app. Meta swiftly refuted the claims.
Can Threads unseat Twitter?
Twitter has more than 237 million daily users, according to the most recent figures from the company’s earnings report in 2022. That’s almost two times as large as Threads’ current user base.
However, it is post engagement that actually matters for brands – people liking, retweeting, or commenting – the Website Planet found. For example, Google+ reportedly attracted 90 million “users” six months after it launched in 2011, but later shut down because people did not engage with it.
While Threads has seen rapid growth over the last few days, could it possibly upstage Twitter in the long term? Threads’ users are evidently not organic. The app relies on converting Instagram users to Thread users, but it is not clear whether they’ll continue with the site when the initial hype ends.
“The bigger point is that usage, not downloads, is the most important metric for an app,” said tech columnist and analyst Martin Peers, in an emailed newsletter.
“As for Threads, we have no idea how many of the 100 million people who have downloaded the app so far are actually using it.”
He continued: “Threads is a little different from Twitter—partly because it’s steering clear of politics and news, and partly because your Threads feed is full of people you haven’t elected to follow. Both those factors severely limit how much of a Twitter replacement it can be.”