Meta’s Threads app is facing challenges in attracting new users, according to a recent forecast by Insider Intelligence. The messaging app, which gained popularity upon its release in July, now ranks near the bottom of the most popular social media platforms in terms of the number of U.S. users. It currently sits ahead of only Tumblr in the rankings.
Insider Intelligence’s forecast predicts that Threads will have 23.7 million U.S. users by 2023, significantly behind platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, which boast user bases of 177.9 million, 135.2 million, and 102.3 million respectively. X, Threads’ closest rival, is expected to have 56.1 million U.S. users by 2023, meaning that Threads will have less than half the user base of X.
The struggles faced by Threads in gaining and retaining users have been documented by various mobile analytics firms, including Sensor Tower and Similarweb, which have reported declining usage of the app. Threads initially experienced a surge in popularity due to its easy sign-up process for existing Instagram users and its appeal as a mainstream alternative to X.
Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg notes that Threads received an initial boost from Twitter’s missteps but cannot rely solely on users defecting from X to drive its growth. Enberg suggests that Meta may have a clearer path to monetizing Threads if Elon Musk follows through on his plan to charge all X users a monthly subscription fee. This move could potentially increase advertiser interest in Threads, despite potentially alienating more X users.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously stated that the company has no immediate plans to monetize Threads and wishes to focus on growing and establishing the platform further. Meta has unveiled several new features for Threads, such as a desktop version and a search tool, to make it more appealing to users and advertisers alike. However, Enberg believes that Threads needs to establish a unique identity beyond being an extension of Instagram or an alternative to X in order to become a significant player in the social media market.
In conclusion, while Threads initially gained traction upon its release, it is now struggling to attract new users and is ranked near the bottom of the most popular social media platforms. The app’s success going forward will depend on its ability to differentiate itself from competitors and provide users with a unique social experience.