In the fast-paced world of social media apps, the Threads social media app made waves like never before. The brainchild of Meta Platforms (formerly known as Facebook), it burst onto the scene in July 2023, and with it being a direct rival to Twitter, it captured the attention of avid social media enthusiasts.
Yet, in the midst of its meteoric rise, Threads encountered a huge dip in user activity in August, mainly attributed to its initial feature limitations.
However, with the recent introduction of new features, such as a web version of the app, will Threads reach the top of the mountain again?
The Threads saga has been nothing short of a rollercoaster since its inception.
It all began on July 5th 2023, when Meta Platforms made waves with the announcement of the Threads social media app. The excitement was palpable as Threads made its grand debut merely a day later, gracing the Apple and Android app stores across 100 countries, although it didn’t in the EU.
(You can read more about that controversy, here.)
Social media enthusiasts were quick to embrace this newcomer, with a staggering 100 million users jumping on board within a mere five days.
However, as the initial hype settled, so did a wave of criticism.
By July 10th 2023, Threads found itself under the spotlight for its algorithmic timeline that seemed to prioritise anything but the most recent posts, sparking debates among its growing user base.
By July 23rd, Threads had fallen further to 12.6 million daily actives users – about 12% of Twitter’s user figures (although Twitter’s activity over the last few months is a subject for a different blog!)
The plot thickened in August as user activity took an unexpected nosedive.
The user count experienced a significant decline, dwindling to 10.3 million daily active users, marking a massive 79% decrease.
Notably, the average time spent within the app also underwent a noticeable transition, contracting from 18 minutes a day, to a lesser 12 minutes per day.
These shifts, having already happened, not only shed light on Threads' evolving journey, but also invite us to retrospectively explore the factors that contributed to the app’s decline.
There appears to be a notable resurgence in the Threads narrative, following its initial plummet in user engagement.
Celebrities continue to test the water with Threads too, with Kim Kardashian now being the most popular user, with 5.3 million followers (although it is worth noting this number is dwarfed by her X followers – 75.1 million – and Instagram followers – a whopping 364 million).
A pivotal driver behind this revival is undoubtedly the Threads' web version, which launched on August 22, 2023. This move made Threads more than just a mobile affair, extending its accessibility and convenience to desktop and laptop users.
This expansion to desktop was received very warmly by Threads’ users, and was probably a main contributor to the rise in users, as of recently.
But that's not all – Threads' comeback tale was also due to positive feedback from users who sang praises about its features, design, and overall user experience.
Although this praise is definitely valid, the increased positivity around the Threads social media app may be due to frustrations with X (formerly Twitter) and its owner, Elon Musk, who has faced accusations of censorship, bias, and manipulation over the past few months.
Threads, in the eyes of some users, is seen as an alternative haven, and with Musk wanting to remove the ‘block’ button as well, it might still be seen that way.
Looking at recent data from Similarweb, we can see that on August 24th 2023, Threads had rekindled its user base to a robust 18.7 million daily active users, soaring from the 10.3 million recorded on August 7, 2023.
That's an impressive 81% upswing in less than three weeks.
Yet, it's worth noting that it still trails behind its pinnacle of 49.3 million, which was achieved on July 7th 2023.
The intrigue deepens as we to whether Threads can sustain this rapid revival and potentially pose a formidable challenge to the reign of X, as the quintessential text-based social media platform.
Only time will tell.
At least we’ve got the Musk vs Zuck boxing match to look forward to.