Bottom line: Reports of Twitter's death are greatly exaggerated, at least according to the latest usage data for newly minted rival Threads. What started off as a red-hot launch has already cooled significantly, but should Meta be concerned?
The Meta-backed social network launched just over two weeks ago to the sort of reception that would put a smile on even the most pessimistic of executives. The service managed to attract more than 100 million users in the first five days despite what some might call a premature, feature-scarce launch.
Now, the decision to go live ASAP may be coming back to haunt Meta. According to Sensor Tower estimates cited by The Wall Street Journal, the number of daily active users on Threads has dropped nearly 70 percent compared to its peak on July 7.
Another analytics firm, SimilarWeb, found that the average time spent using Threads' Android and iOS apps has slipped from 19 minutes a day to just four minutes. For comparison, Twitter's daily active user count has held steady at around 200 million, with the average user spending roughly half an hour using the service each day.
Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg recently said Threads' early growth was off the charts and way ahead of what they expected. Looking ahead, Zuckerberg said the focus for the rest of the year will be on improving the basics of the platform and working on user retention.
"We've run this playbook many times (FB, IG, Stories, Reels, etc) and I'm confident Threads is on a good path too," he noted.
Richard Hanna, a professor at Babson College who studies social-media strategy, told the WSJ that Threads' drop-off is a clear indication that people are realizing they can not do as much on the app compared to competing services.
The publication also pointed out the fact that Threads was built on Instagram's infrastructure, and that the platform might seem dull to some people if they choose to follow the same folks they already follow on Instagram.
In short, Threads' strong start has bought Meta some time to build out its missing features.
Image credit: Azamat E