Threads ‘The Failed Twitter Murderer’ Is Struggling to Retain Users’ Attention

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  2 min read >

The interest in Threads, Meta’s potential rival to Twitter, seems to be waning just a week after its peak usage on July 7. According to Similarweb, a digital data firm that analyzed the app’s metrics, the average time spent on Threads each day dropped significantly from 21 minutes to merely six minutes among U.S. users, as tracked on the social media service’s Android app.

While Twitter also experienced a slight decrease in time spent (4.3% on Android), it still maintained a total of 25 minutes, significantly higher than Meta’s Threads.

The number of daily active users on Meta’s Threads for Android also saw a decline, plummeting from 49 million to 23.6 million between July 7 and 14. Comparatively, Twitter had around 107 million users on July 14, as reported by Similarweb.

Despite this decrease in user engagement, Meta executives expected the dip after an initial surge. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, stated that their focus wasn’t solely on engagement, but rather on surpassing the initial ups and downs that typically accompany new product launches. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, expressed his surprise at the early growth of Threads, with tens of millions of users returning daily, which exceeded their expectations. He emphasized that their focus for the remainder of the year would be on enhancing the basics and user retention.

Threads, launched by Meta as a Twitter competitor on its existing Instagram platform, received an overwhelmingly positive reception on July 5. Within just five days of release, Zuckerberg claimed that the new social media service had already amassed over 100 million users, potentially making it the fastest-growing consumer app ever, surpassing OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

A significant portion of Threads’ users, approximately a quarter, are based in India, while the U.S. accounts for the second-largest share of users, at 17.6%, according to data from Sensor Tower.

However, some users and advertisers noticed that Threads lacked certain features commonly found on other social media platforms, such as hashtag searchability. This could be one reason behind the decline in engagement, as suggested by David F. Carr, senior insight manager for Similarweb. He posited that Threads needs to offer a compelling reason for users to switch from Twitter or establish a new social media habit.

To address the limitations, Meta announced new features for Threads, including an improved way for users to see who is following them and a translation function. Nevertheless, when asked for comment, a spokesperson for Meta referred to Zuckerberg and Mosseri’s posts on Threads.

The accelerated launch of Threads by Meta was reportedly influenced by missteps made by Twitter and its owner, Elon Musk. Musk’s policy changes, especially concerning content moderation, have caused concerns among brands and creators, leading them to seek alternatives. Twitter’s owner did not take kindly to the launch of Meta’s competitor, with Musk criticizing Threads’ privacy permissions, challenging Zuckerberg to a cage fight, and threatening to sue Meta over allegations of poaching ex-Twitter employees and stealing trade secrets.

Despite the rivalry, social media experts believe that Threads is unlikely to completely replace Twitter. Instead, the world of text-based social media is predicted to split into multiple platforms catering to different types of content. Twitter would remain a hub for breaking news and commentary, while Threads, akin to its parent app Instagram, would focus on influencer-driven content.

Twitter faces its own set of issues, with Musk revealing that the company’s advertising revenue was still down by 50% and that it had negative cash flow.

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Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile