79% Downturn in Threads App Engagement

In a swift tale of digital ascent and unexpected descent, Meta's Threads App has traversed the gamut of social media fame. From skyrocketing registrations to a jaw-dropping 79% plummet in engagement, the app's trajectory is a compelling saga of highs and lows that leaves industry watchers intrigued and investors cautious
Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Editor In Chief at The Executive Magazine

Meta’s Threads App, once the shining star of the social media landscape, has seen a staggering 79% drop in user engagement, marking a rapid turnaround from its initial surge.

In a recent report unveiled by the digital intelligence authority Similarweb, the allure of the Threads App has dimmed significantly. The platform’s engagement, which soared to a peak of 2.3 million active users in early July 2023, has dwindled precipitously to a mere 576,000 users by August 7, 2023.

This conspicuous slump in engagement dovetails with a palpable waning of interest from U.S. businesses that once embraced the app for its potential in brand awareness and marketing initiatives. Notable corporate entities such as the iconic fast-food behemoth Wendy’s, sartorial emporium Anthropologie, and the coveted makeup label Rare Beauty have all notably curtailed their posting activities on the platform.

The news strikes a dissonant chord considering Threads’ sensational ascent as the world’s fastest-downloaded app. Within a mere week of its inauguration, Threads triumphantly garnered five million user registrations. This initial excitement snowballed into an astounding 100 million user milestone since the app’s inception.

Meta, cognizant of the vacillating fortunes of Threads, had launched the app as an alternative to X (formerly Twitter), during a period marked by tumultuous disarray arising from Elon Musk’s stewardship.

In the wake of Musk’s acquisition of the app in October 2022, a mass exodus of Threads’ personnel ensued, inadvertently ushering in recurrent technical glitches and the enforcement of contentious policies. These actions, albeit with unintended consequences, fomented the proliferation of hate speech and culminated in the departure of several prominent advertisers.

However, the saga of Threads’ decline positions its rival, X, for a more promising trajectory. Similarweb’s data underscores this narrative, revealing that Threads’ peak daily user count languishes at less than half of Twitter’s daily average, an impressive 100 million active users.

Undoubtedly, the daily usage landscape of Threads, Meta’s foray into a Twitter-alike domain, has undergone a marked deceleration post its ebullient inauguration phase. The resplendent peak of 2.3 million active users in July’s nascent days has given way to a muted 576,000 user count by August 7th, as meticulously scrutinized by the digital intelligence mainstay, Similarweb.

While the hypothesis of Elon Musk’s Twitter rebranding carrying the ‘X’ factor is debated, the prudent investor may be inclined to adopt a more measured perspective, as articulated by renowned commentator John Naughton. A cogent appraisal of Musk’s potential to reshape Twitter’s essence remains an exercise in speculative intrigue.

Beyond the user base shift, influential American corporations including the culinary colossus Wendy’s, haute couture purveyor Anthropologie, and the luxurious Rare Beauty label have perceptibly pared down their Threads-centric content generation, in concurrence with reporting from Adweek.

The ascent and decline of Threads, replete with its meteoric rise from 5 million registrations within a scant week of its launch on July 5th, ultimately attracting an awe-inspiring 100 million users, offers a tantalizing juxtaposition. Yet, this narrative takes a bittersweet turn, as Threads’ zenith was eclipsed by a mere shadow of Twitter’s daily user activity, which stands steadfast at a robust 100 million.

Originating as Meta’s countermove to the turbulence gripping Twitter under Elon Musk’s dominion since October 2022, Threads has weathered a maelstrom. Musk’s strategic overhaul, involving significant layoffs and a series of policies wrought with controversy, inadvertently sowed the seeds of technical instability and a regrettable surge in noxious discourse, catalyzing the defection of key advertisers.

Meanwhile, the public spar between tech titans Zuckerberg and Musk, infused with musings of a hypothetical cage match, receded into the background. Zuckerberg, in a departure from this theatrical exchange, conveyed his readiness to let go of the notion, citing Musk’s apparent lack of earnestness. “Elon won’t confirm a date, then says he needs surgery, and now asks to do a practice round in my backyard instead,” Zuckerberg asserted, concluding that Musk’s true commitment remains elusive.

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