How Is Zuckerberg’s Twitter Clone ‘Threads’ Doing?

AP Photo/Richard Drew

After Elon Musk purchased Twitter and turned it into a free speech platform, liberals desperately sought to find a safe space, free from opinions they didn’t like. It didn’t go so well, and so Meta stepped in to create its own Twitter clone: Threads.

Threads launched in July, and the media literally gushed over its meteoric success. A mere 16 hours after launch, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the app had accumulated 30 million signups. Just over four days later, the platform had over 100 million users. 

I was not impressed. I saw Threads as the new Google+, a social media platform by an existing big tech giant that failed to succeed despite rapid initial growth. 

Recommended: Why I’m Not Impressed by Meta’s Twitter Clone

There were countless articles about how Threads would give Twitter real competition, and possibly kill the platform. 

"I’ve tried them all, and Meta’s new ‘Threads' poses the greatest opportunity to (finally) transcend Twitter. Perhaps that’s why the social media app is already being dubbed the 'Twitter killer,’” wrote Matt Lewis at The Daily Beast when Threads launched.

"Mark Zuckerberg’s rival social network is first serious threat to Twitter since Elon Musk takeover,” claimed Dan Milmo, the global technology editor at The Guardian.

Except it never happened. By August, the app engagement took a major dive, and Threads was struggling to maintain users.

How’s it doing now, months later? Well, according to Exploding Topics, Threads has 137 million users, and its growth has slowed tremendously. While Threads reached reaching 100 million users in 4 days and 6 hours after launch, it added another 37 million over the next 119 days.

While the number accounts may appear impressive despite the slowing of growth, how many people are actually using it? The number of daily active users peaked way too early. 

When Threads first launched, it reached 49.3 million daily active users within a day. Within a week, the numbers sharply declined by 52%, settling at 23.6 million on July 14. By November, the platform’s daily active user count had plummeted to 10.3 million, a staggering 79% decline from the peak. 

Not only are fewer people using the app, but those who are using it are using it for less time. In its first day of existence, users were on the app an average of 21 minutes a day. Now, users are spending an average of 3 minutes today. 

But what about Twitter, which has since been renamed X? Well, X boasts 550 million monthly users, and 200 million daily active users, who spend an average of 31 minutes per day on the app. Different sources have different numbers for both platforms, but the distance between these two apps is undeniably clear.

This substantial decrease in user engagement raises concerns about Threads' sustained popularity and long-term viability, while Twitter, which has certainly taken some hits due to coordinated attacks targeting advertisers, remains the undisputed king of microblogging platforms. Those who predicted that Threads would eclipse and destroy Twitter failed to see that Threads’ initial success was less to  do with organic growth, and more to do with the fact it was piggybacking off of Instagram.

Threads was always going to do well to start, not because it was a great app, but because it was a product of Meta. But, that initial success was never an accurate indicator of its long-term viability. Many left-wing celebrities proudly boasted of their new Threads accounts when it launched but few, if any, deleted their Twitter accounts to make Threads their new permanent home. Why? Because Twitter is still the microblogging platform of choice for those who desire reach. It’s not even close. 

Clearly, reports of X/Twitter’s demise were greatly exaggerated... mostly by those who wanted Twitter to die because they oppose free speech.


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