On 5th July 2023, Meta launched Threads, a new social media app very similar to Twitter, which has seen drastic changes under the controversial leadership of Elon Musk. Some of these changes have prompted concerns among advertisers and some users regarding safety and the direction the company is being led.
During the first few days, Threads made the headlines by becoming the fastest app ever to reach 100m downloads.
Given this, there are several questions that we are curious about:
- Have people been using Threads after downloading?
- Has Twitter lost audience as a result?
- Has Threads grown the market for text-based social media?
- Is there a difference in adoption between iOS and Android users?
- Once the excitement has died down, what will be the usage trends?
Leveraging US data from the RealityMine Data Marketplace, we see the daily reach of both Twitter and Threads over the first week since Threads’s launch, as well as the overlap between the two audiences.
At first glance, after the initial interest, Threads app has failed to grow their daily active user base. In contrast, Twitter’s audience has remained stable.
What could be the reason for this?
We have several theories; the link to Instagram removes the anonymity that Twitter users enjoy and that may put people off. Twitter benefits from having a critical mass, and that takes time to build, i.e., if the people you enjoy following on Twitter are not on Threads this may drive you back to Twitter. Complaints about lack of features may have an impact too.
Has Threads grown the market for text-based social media?
Threads seems to have grown the market for text-based social media, as 9% of combined Twitter and Threads users during that first week had used only Threads, as opposed to 13% who had used both apps. These could be former Twitter users who are not currently active on Twitter, or people new to this format of social media property.
Is there a difference in adoption between iOS and Android users?
Whilst our data shows that iOS users have taken to Threads more eagerly than Android users, more research needs to be done on the matter as to why. There is the possibility that iOS users were already on Twitter on higher numbers, and simply moved to the newest app to test it, but this is just one hypothesis of many.
Once the excitement has died down, are numbers still consistent?
Recently, news sources reported that Threads app usage has decreased greatly, which once again we can corroborate with our data.
Looking at the data from the first 2 weeks since launch, the average session length dropped significantly from over 10 minutes on average per day to below 6 minutes per day. This might have been due to users finding that key features were missing, such as hashtags, chronological feeds and the ability to curate their feeds and only see those accounts they follow.
It is still early days, and with the recent rebrand of Twitter into X at the end of July, this might change how both apps, X and Threads are used.
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