Is the Threads' hype over?

Emre Çitak
Aug 1, 2023

In recent weeks, Meta's social media app, Threads, which was launched as an alternative to Twitter, has experienced a significant decline in user engagement.

Despite an impressive start, with over 100 million sign-ups within the first five days of its launch on July 5, the number of active users has dropped substantially. Reports show that daily active users fell from 49 million on July 7 to 23.6 million on July 14.

While this decline in user engagement has raised concerns, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg remains optimistic about the future of Threads, attributing the drop to normal fluctuations in user behavior.

Threads user engagement decline
Threads' daily user engagement has almost halved

Initial surge and subsequent decline of Threads

Upon its launch, Threads garnered immense popularity, with more than 100 million sign-ups in just five days. The platform, aiming to rival Twitter, seemed promising in its early days, attracting millions of users to engage in its unique offering.

However, within weeks, the situation changed dramatically, and the number of active daily users plummeted. As of July 14, Threads experienced a considerable drop in daily active users, down to 23.6 million from the peak of 49 million on July 7.

Is Zuckerberg's retention strategy viable?

In an internal town hall meeting as reported by Business Today, Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged the decline in user engagement on Threads. However, he expressed optimism, stating that the retention rate was better than what the executives had expected, although it was not perfect.

The Meta CEO emphasized the need for continuous improvement to enhance the user experience and ensure continued engagement with the platform. To achieve this, Zuckerberg and his team are planning to add more "retention-driving hooks" to encourage users to return to the app.

Threads user engagement decline
Many users who were not happy with the direction Twitter was going saw Threads as a great Twitter alternative

One such strategy includes allowing Instagram users to view important Threads within the Instagram app, as suggested by Chief Product Officer Chris Cox. These efforts aim to address the challenges of retaining users and ensuring the growth of Threads in the long run.

Threads vs. Twitter

Threads was introduced as a competitor to Twitter, looking to capitalize on Twitter's period of turmoil following its takeover by Elon Musk. Twitter has faced several controversies under Musk's leadership, leading to declining advertising revenue and user engagement.

Especially the recent rebranding of Twitter as X and all the controversy around it pushes users towards a strong alternative.

Read alsoThreads vs Twitter: Features comparison.

Meta seized the opportunity to offer an alternative platform, promising a digital town square filled with positivity and connection. However, Threads' decline in user engagement raised questions about its ability to keep users posting on the platform regularly, especially in comparison to Twitter's substantial user base.

Threads' lack of certain functionalities, including desktop access and hashtag searches, may have contributed to this decline.

In Wall Street Journal, Lia Haberman, a social media marketing lecturer, stressed the significance of user engagement and interaction for social media platforms. She highlighted that Threads, despite its popularity during the initial sign-up phase, needs to focus on fostering meaningful user interactions to thrive as a for-profit business


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