Meta said today that its text-based social network Threads has under 100 million monthly users three months after its launch.
Mark Zuckerberg noted during the company’s latest earnings call that the social networking giant is happy with Threads’ progress — with the current growth rate, it could achieve the mark of a billion users in the next few years.
“We’re three months in now, and I’m very happy with the trajectory,” Zuckerberg said on the call.
“I’ve thought for a long time that there should be a billion-person public conversations app that is a bit more positive. And I think that if we keep at this for a few more years, then I think we have a good chance of achieving our vision there.”
Monthly active users might not be the greatest indicator for engagement on a social network like Threads though. As a casual user, even if you open the website or an app once, you’ll be counted as an active user.
Comparatively, Threads’ rival X (formerly Twitter) has nearly 550 million monthly active users, a number shared by Elon Musk in September. Earlier this month, X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino said that the platform has 245 million daily active users.
While Meta didn’t share daily active user numbers for Threads, Insider Intelligence analyst Jeremy Goldman said the social network has nearly five times fewer daily active users than it did at its July launch.
Threads achieved the 100 million signup mark within a week of launch. But since then, engagement numbers have dwindled. The company has shipped many sought-after features such as post search, a web version, an edit button, and easy account switching in the last few months. Meta is also working on upcoming features like trending posts and separate account deletion from Instagram for Threads.
Notably, Threads is still not available to users in the EU, and Zuckerberg didn’t mention any timeline for the launch during the earnings call.
The company has also tried tricks like showing a carousel of suggested Threads posts on both Instagram and Facebook. It could also be working on an option to let users share Threads posts directly to their Instagram story, according to app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi.
The biggest challenge for Threads is to increase engagement, or as Zuckerberg said “growing the community.” Instagram head Adam Mosseri, who is also in charge of Threads, has said from time to time that Threads is “not going to amplify news” but the platform is not “anti-news.” The service has blocked searches for health-related terms ‘Covid’ and ‘vaccines’, but it aims to lift the ban soon.
Meta’s stance about Threads has been to make it a place to “empower creators.” So while there is news on Threads, it’s hard to follow it in real-time as not all reporters and publications are posting it. However, reporters are looking for an alternative to X, as the Musk-owned platform has made life difficult for publishers with steps like removing headlines from link previews.
Days after the Israel-Hamas conflict started getting attention, reporters started to post more information on networks like Threads. However, it might take time for Threads to be a place for real-time events with high engagement — including pop culture moments and sports events.
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