Following an initial surge, Meta's Threads social network continues to see its user population dwindle. Based on analysis from web analytics firm Similarweb, the number of daily active users and the amount of time they spend on the platform have both plunged over the course of just a single month.
For a recent blog post, Similarweb analyzed the number of people using the platform's Android app. App usage is the most reliable way to track traffic on Threads since the website is still limited to read-only mode. Following a peak of 49.3 million daily users on July 7, the numbers have since fallen by 79% to 10.3 million as of August 7. In the US, the number of daily active users peaked at 2.3 million on July 7, only to drop to 576,000 as of August 7.
People who continue to use Threads aren't staying as long as they did initially. The average amount of daily time spent using the app started at around 14 minutes, or almost 21 minutes in the US. By August 7, that number had dropped to just three minutes. In comparison, the number of daily active users on X, aka Twitter, is more than 100 million just on the Android app. And those people regularly spend around 25 minutes using the app each day.
With all the trouble and turmoil surrounding Twitter since Elon Musk's takeover, a number of new social networks have popped up in the past year. The goal has been to provide a Twitter-like, or X-like, experience without the baggage that Musk brings to the table. Such platforms as Mastodon, Bluesky, and Threads have tried to generate an initial buzz by offering similar but saner alternatives. However, attracting users is only the initial test; retaining them is a far larger challenge. And that's been the case with Threads.
Following its launch in early July, Threads broke the record to become the fastest-growing app ever, winning more than 100 million new users in less than a week. By linking new accounts to its Instagram service, Meta attempted to simplify the sign-up process for the existing 1.6 billion users of the photo-sharing app. But that surge quickly lost steam.
Toward the end of July, the number of active daily Threads users had already fallen by 70%, according to data from market intelligence firm Sensor Tower. The actual number of daily users had plunged to 13 million, while the average number of minutes spent using the app fell to 4 minutes from a peak of 19 minutes.
There are likely at least a few reasons why people aren't sticking with Threads. Twitter users turned off by Musk's antics may have gravitated to the new service hoping to find a safe oasis only to discover a more limited experience. As more accounts have left or stopped using Threads, that means a less engaging and interesting social platform.
Plus, Threads lacks certain core features that have characterized X and other networks. For now, the full service is available only as iPhone and Android apps. The website lets you read but not write posts, and even then the process is clumsy. You can't search for posts nor can you edit your own posts.
Meta has been promising website access, an edit button, and other improvements. However, the rollout of new features has been slow thus far, likely frustrating users accustomed to a more feature-rich platform.
These are still early days for Threads, so it's far too soon to write off the new service. Perhaps as it ramps up more of its promised features and enhancements, it may attract more new users and bring back previous adopters. As Similarweb said in its post, "Threads may still have a better chance of becoming 'the new Twitter' than some other alternatives, but it needs to provide its users with more reasons to keep coming back."