Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has dispelled rumors of declining usage on Instagram’s Twitter competitor, Threads, affirming that “10s of millions of people come back daily” in a recent post on Monday. The app experienced an impressive start, surpassing 100 million users shortly after its launch and reaching one-fifth of Twitter’s weekly active user base. However, analytics firm Similarweb reported that Threads’ usage had dropped by half since its initial surge, with daily active users falling from 49 million to 23.6 million within a week.
It’s not uncommon for new social apps to experience a slight downturn in usage after the initial excitement wears off. As users set up their accounts, follow friends, and make their first posts, there’s a surge of early engagement. However, as people incorporate the app into their daily lives alongside other social platforms, a dip in engagement is natural.
Despite this, Zuckerberg views Threads’ engagement numbers as a success rather than a setback. He expressed optimism about the Threads community coming together, highlighting that “10s of millions of people now come back daily.” He emphasized that the company’s focus for the rest of the year would be on improving the basics and retention. Once these aspects are stable, the goal is to grow the Threads community.
Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, had previously stated that their focus at the moment was not on engagement but on getting past the initial peak and trough often observed with new products. Mosseri also confirmed that Threads’ growth, retention, and engagement were exceeding company projections. In essence, Meta is not concerned about minor fluctuations at this stage.
Threads’ early success sparked rivalry between Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Elon Musk. Twitter began blocking links to Threads in searches, and Musk took to name-calling and making crude proposals on social media. It’s evident that Threads has caught Twitter’s attention, as they introduced a creator monetization program to retain high-profile users. Verified creators are now eligible to receive a portion of revenue from ads displayed in the replies to their posts.
To keep Verified users engaged, Twitter also increased rate limits by 50%, allowing them to read more tweets before being restricted. This measure aimed to combat spam and bot activity on the platform. Additionally, Musk announced that Twitter would share ad revenue from profile page views, effectively doubling payouts for creators, with only views from Verified users counting.
As these additions are implemented, Threads’ usage and retention are likely to see a resurgence as it achieves feature parity with Twitter.