Threads has been out now nearly ten (10) weeks. The platform managed to hit 100 million users in the first five (5) days of their launch, which is impressive for a brand-new social media platform! People entered the space, hungering for something new and exciting.
Now that Threads has been out a while, the five (5) questions I have about the platform are:
- What are the numbers now?
- What’s new?
- If you’re on Threads, how does it compare to X (f.k.a. Twitter)?
- If you’re not on Threads, what’s stopping you?
- Will Threads survive?
1. What Are The Numbers Now?
Apparently, not impressive enough. According to CNN and The Guardian, the app usage has dropped significantly (plummeted was the actual word used). Given this platform was touted as being “not like X (Twitter)” (d’oh!), that’s honestly surprising.
Similarweb.com stats have Threads at 109.9M users as of this writing. They also show Instagram at 6.8B users; that means 1.6% of Instagram’s users are on Threads. The top country is the United States at 26.15% – not surprising. What IS surprising is the remaining countries in Similarweb’s analysis are in the single digits for use.
The largest age demographic is 25-34 year olds at 34.34%, followed closely by the 18-24 year old range at 28.82%. It also appears more men (65.08%) than women (34.92%) use the app. The top category for audience interest is Computers, Electronics, and Technology. The topic winner is News. For more information visit Similarweb.com. https://www.cnn.com/2023/08/03/tech/threads-user-count-falls/index.html
As of August 14, 2023, The Guardian reported the number of Threads’ active users for August was recorded at 576K, or usage was down 79% since its launch. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/aug/14/threads-app-slump-daily-active-users-twitter-competition
2. What’s New?
From what I can see, two things since the launch, one I didn’t catch and should have:
- Users can now have their account verified through their Instagram account. I didn’t catch this initially. Mark Zuckerberg followed what Elon Musk did and offered a subscription to Threads in order to become verified. The biggest stumbling block is the subs price – $15/mo., according to DigitalTrends.com (https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/how-to-get-verified-on-instagram-threads/). That’s a total of $180/year for “verification”. The subs on X (f.k.a. Twitter) is only $8/mo., or $96/year for the coveted blue checkmark. For some users, that might be worth not verifying their Threads – for now.
- The long-awaited web feature was launched Tues., Aug. 22. Now Threads users need only log into their Threads accounts using their Instagram access & login, and they can search, start a post, heart (like), and follow others from the comfort of a browser.
3. If you’re on Threads, how does it compare to X (f.k.a. Twitter)?
I’d like to hear what users like about Threads, and what features they wish the platform had. No political jabs, please. We all know (and have heard over and over) that Threads was “supposed to be the answer to X (f.k.a. Twitter)” since Elon Musk’s takeover and non-censorship policies, yada yada yada. If that’s the only reason you’re still using Threads vs. connecting, engaging with others, and increasing your own brand awareness, that’s up to you, and I wish you success.
4. If you’re not on Threads, what’s stopping you?
I’d like to hear WHY people aren’t on Threads. I have a few ideas about this but I’d like to know what other social media users are thinking.
My thought: Zuckerberg made a HUGE mistake opening Threads to Instagram users only. Sure, he has the numbers on Instagram to both make and keep users engaged – plenty of people to post to – but it’s the same audience. He’s not bothering to source/add newer users for growth; Zuckerberg is absolutely depending on his Instagram users to funnel new users to his new platform.
An old saying goes something like this: “If you feed someone a fish, how often can they eat? But, if you teach someone how to catch a fish, how often can they eat?”
Obviously, though harder, it’s far better to source your clients, projects, etc., on your own vs. depending on someone to constantly feed these opportunities to you. This will be difficult for Zuckerberg to deal with; I expect he will put up his own “blame game” analysis as to why more people aren’t using Threads. In the meantime, he should look inside himself and ask, “Why did I create this platform?” The answer to this one question will be a life-changer for him, should he dare take it on.
5. Will Threads survive?
My answer is the same as from my previous post: YES, and I still believe it will dwindle down to obscurity, become lesser known, lesser used.
Much time, money, and resources were thrown into this project to create something like X (f.k.a. Twitter) but not like X. The result? Lukewarm to “meh”. The initial gamble for interest paid off, but that interest has waned dramatically since the first five days of the launch. There’s not enough difference between the two platforms to keep users engaged.
Kurt Knutsson, a.k.a. the Cyberguy, wrote an article about the new Threads app, giving his insights and tips for keeping your phone safe while using the app. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Conclusion: Is Threads An X or “Twitter Killer”?
Zuckerberg had a huge advantage in advertising this to 3.81B Meta product users vs. both Facebook and Twitter starting up in 2004 and 2006 (respectively) at zero. It’s much easier to build an audience using an existing audience.
In my opinion: NO, Threads will not kill X/Twitter. My prediction has little to do with the longevity of X as it had major issues when Elon Musk took over control of the company. It also doesn’t take into consideration how many people were upset last weekend when Musk decided to throttle views for non-subscribers. Those who joined Threads by that reason alone are bitter that they have to subscribe vs. getting it all for free, and they’re sounding off about this on – yep – Threads.
My prediction has more to do with (a) one reason why more people aren’t on Threads, as stated above, and (b) capitalism than anything else. In your surrounding neighborhood, note many businesses are so similar but have different names and possibly a few different products or services. Why do we have multiple businesses that provide the same product or service? Because someone likes Company A, and someone else decided Company B was their choice.
Business is not about “one size fits all” solutions. It’s about choices. There are approximately 8B people living on Earth; there’s plenty of business for everyone to choose who earns their dime and time.
That’s it for now. I’ll make a follow-up article next week and let you know more observations. Until then, please share your Threads experience with me for my next article.
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