Threads users plummet after blockbuster launch

After impressive uptake in the first few days after its launch, Meta Platforms’ Threads app saw its usage decline by half roughly a week after hitting peak activity.

According to a new report from SimilarWeb, the app’s daily active users on Android declined from its best of 49 million on 7 July 2023, a day after launch, to 23.6 million by 14 July 2023.

The latter is roughly 22% of Twitter’s daily active user count on Android, SimilarWeb said.

“Despite attracting far broader attention than Twitter alternatives like the open-source Mastodon or the still-beta Bluesky, the Threads spin-off from Meta’s Instagram business unit does not yet have customers coming back regularly,” SimilarWeb said.

SimilarWeb also said Threads appeared to have a small impact on Twitter web usage, with a 5% drop in web traffic in the first two days after its launch.

“On the days of peak interest in Threads, Twitter’s daily active users on Android, worldwide, were virtually unchanged, but time spent was down 4.3% – perhaps because some users were off trying Threads,” SimilarWeb said.

“Even with that drop, however, the average total time spent on Twitter was about 25 minutes,” SimilarWeb said.

By comparison, the peak total time spent on Threads hit an average of 21 minutes on  7 July 2023 but declined to 6 minutes a week later.

The graph below shows how the daily active users on Threads and Twitter on Android compared over Threads’ launch period.

Threads surpassed 100 million sign-ups only four days after its rollout, making it the fastest-growing mobile app ever, despite not being available in Europe.

That led to speculation that it could surpass Twitter as the most popular short-format text-based social media app within a few months.

Twitter has a monthly active user base estimated to be between 400–500 million, while owner Elon Musk recently said its total daily active users stood at 259.4 million.

SimilarWeb said Threads’ many missing basic features and lack of a compelling reason to switch from Twitter contributed to its declining usage.

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses for Twitter either, which has seen its user retention decline compared to a year ago.

“On Android, the percentage of new users who are continuing to regularly use the Twitter app after 30 days has dropped from 19% in May 2022 to 16% in May 2023,” SimilarWeb said.

“In contrast, the loyalty of new Instagram users has held steady at about 40%.”

The latter is important in light of the fact that people sign up for Threads using an Instagram account.

Now read: Twitter threatens to sue Meta over Threads

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Threads users plummet after blockbuster launch