**Threads, Meta’s ‘Twitter-Killer’ App, Sees Declining Engagement**
Interest in Threads, the social media app launched by Meta to compete with Twitter, seems to be fading away just a week after its peak usage on July 7. According to an analysis by Similarweb, a digital data firm, the average time spent on the app each day dropped from 21 minutes to six minutes among U.S. users. Additionally, daily active users on Meta’s Android app for Threads fell from 49 million to 23.6 million during the same period. While Twitter also experienced a slight decline in usage, with a 4.3% decrease in time spent on the platform, it still attracted significantly more engagement than Threads, with users spending a total of 25 minutes per day on Twitter.
**Executive Expectations and Growth Performance**
Meta executives anticipated a decrease in interest after the initial surge. Instagram head Adam Mosseri stated in a Threads post that their focus was not on engagement but rather on navigating the typical peak and trough cycles that accompany the launch of new products. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, echoed this sentiment in his own Threads post, acknowledging the remarkable early growth before emphasising the need to improve the basics and user retention for the rest of the year.
**Threads’ Launch and User Demographics**
Threads was launched by Meta on July 5, generating overwhelming interest. Zuckerberg claimed that the app had already attracted over 100 million users just five days after its release. The app’s user base is diverse, with 25% of users located in India and the U.S. accounting for a 17.6% share.
**Missing Features and Potential Impact**
After the launch of Threads, both users and advertisers pointed out that the app lacked certain features commonly found on other social media platforms, such as hashtag search functionality. This absence of basic features, in comparison to Twitter, could be one factor contributing to the declining engagement on Threads. David F. Carr, Senior Insight Manager for Similarweb, suggests that Meta’s app needs to offer a more appealing reason for users to switch from Twitter or to adopt Threads as a new social media platform.
**Meta’s Response and New Features**
In response to user feedback, Meta announced new features for Threads, including an easier way for users to view their followers and a translation function. However, Meta did not immediately provide a comment when requested by Fortune.
**Comparing Threads to Twitter**
Meta expedited the launch of Threads in response to challenges faced by Twitter and its owner, Elon Musk. Musk’s policy changes, particularly concerning content moderation, raised concerns among brands and creators. Meta saw the opportunity to offer a platform that was “sanely run” and attracted public figures seeking an alternative to Twitter. Musk, in turn, expressed dissatisfaction with Threads, criticising its privacy permissions and threatening legal action against Meta.
Zuckerberg, when discussing Threads, directly referenced Twitter, highlighting its failure to create a public conversations app with over 1 billion users. Meta aims to provide a more compelling value proposition than simply being “Twitter, but without Elon Musk,” according to Anthony Bartoloacci, Managing Director at Sensor Tower. However, social media experts believe that Threads will not replace Twitter entirely but will exist as a platform focused on influencer-driven content, similar to its parent app Instagram.
**Challenges for Twitter**
While Threads faces its own challenges, Twitter is also grappling with various issues. Musk revealed that Twitter’s advertising revenue was still down by 50% and that the company was experiencing negative cash flow. These factors further contribute to the turbulence in the social media landscape.