One month later, Meta’s Threads is still in “wait and see” mode
One month ago, Meta released its new text-based micro-blogging platform, Threads. The channel, billed as a “Twitter killer,” was expected to be immediately successful. And, for the most part, it has been.
Several key factors have fueled that sizzling start. Of course, there’s the backing of the world’s most powerful social media giant (Meta). It also doesn’t hurt that its chief rival, Twitter, was losing traffic and ad revenue at an alarming rate — even before the launch of Mark Zuckerberg’s newest venture. Threads also made it enticingly easy for new users to have reach and impressions on day one, thanks to a feature that allowed new users to import followers from their Instagram account.
The result? 100 million new users in less than a week, dethroning ChatGPT as the fastest-growing app in history.
That was four weeks ago. A lot has changed since then. Yes, Twitter is still struggling, no thanks to its confounding rebrand as “X.” And, yes, Threads is still enjoying the deep-pocketed perks of Meta ownership. The channel’s meteoric growth, however, has slowed significantly.
Threads has lost 82% of its daily active users — a decline that’s not surprising for something that grows so quickly in a crowded market. Time spent on the app has also plummeted from an average of 14 minutes a day on July 6 to about 2.3 minutes on August 1, placing it well below Elon Musk’s Twitter (6 minutes).
This downturn occured despite Meta’s attempts to rally its Threads user base and recruit new users with a slew of upgrades and new features. Improvements that include the addition of a Following feed (alongside a For You feed) and the ability to upload high-quality video. Mark Zuckerberg himself has also said that features like post search and a web version of the app may arrive in August.
Despite the slowed growth, Threads is still a force to be reckoned with and still a potentially useful channel for brands of all sizes and industries. But the platform’s descent from a red-hot Twitter killer to a lukewarm Twitter annoyance is also why we take a “wait and see” approach when it comes to new social media channels.
Wait and see if the channel fits into your brand’s social media strategy. Wait and see how other brands use the channel and what success (or lack thereof) they may have. Wait and see if the platform’s growth is sustainable before investing valuable time into creating content for the channel.
For now, we see no harm in dipping a toe into the waters — especially if your brand already has a robust Instagram audience — by testing content you might normally post on Twitter with a few posts on Threads. How long should brands wait before jumping headfirst into the Threads fray? Let’s just say we’ll have to wait and see.