Social Media

Threads users falling away in large numbers, data suggests

Threads may have had the best start of any app to date with 100 million downloads in the first five days after launch earlier this month, but new data suggests the road ahead may be a  rocky one.

On its best day on July 7, a couple of days after launch, Twitter-like Threads surged to more than 49 million daily active users on Android globally, but by July 14 the figure had already fallen by nearly half to 23.6 million, according to research by analytics firm SimilarWeb.

Threads users in the U.S. have also been engaging less with the app, with data showing peak usage at 21 minutes on July 7, dipping to 6 minutes on July 14.

Interestingly, during the first two full days of Threads availability, web traffic to fell by 5% compared to the previous week. And while traffic to Twitter returned for the most recent 7 days of data, it’s still down 11% year-over-year, according to SimilarWeb.

The analytics firm noted that most of its research is based on Android usage due to the ease with which it can be tracked compared to iOS, but its findings nevertheless chime with similar research on Threads carried out since its launch.

“In the race to replace Twitter, Threads is off to a strong start but still has a long way to go toward winning the enduring loyalty of those who partake in a social network dominated by text posts and linked articles,” SimilarWeb said in a blog post on Monday. “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.”

In another sign of the challenges ahead, Adam Mosseri, boss of Meta-owned Instagram, said on Monday that, just as Twitter had to do a couple of weeks ago, the new app is having to impose reading limits due to an uptick in the number of spam attacks on the platform. However, whereas Twitter has brought in concrete limits on viewable tweets, Mosseri has told those on Threads to get in touch if the limits disrupt the user experience, suggesting workarounds may be offered while they continue to tackle the bots.

Threads’ flying start was mainly down to two reasons — its close links with Instagram, which made it easy to set up an account and create a community, and people’s frustrations with Twitter, which has experienced a lot of disruption since Elon Musk acquired the company in October. A few weeks on from launch, Threads appears to be settling down and will now be looking for steady growth, though it’s still too early to say to what extent the app remains a threat to Twitter.

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