On July 5, 2023, Meta announced they were launching a new social media app called Threads. Since Meta also owns Instagram, users can sign up for Threads with their existing Instagram accounts in seconds. Instagram followers, profile pictures, and bios are carried over into Threads, making registration an incredibly seamless experience (no pun intended.)
The platform allows you to share text-based posts with your followers up to 500 characters in length. Posts can include links, photos, and videos. Surprisingly hashtags are not yet available on Threads, even though they are a staple of almost every other social media app.
Below, we will explore why Meta may have just launched a Twitter killer!
Instagram’s Huge User Base
There are currently an estimated 2.35 billion monthly active Instagram users worldwide. In comparison, Twitter has roughly 450 million monthly active users, not even a quarter of Instagram’s. Two-billion users could sign up for Threads within seconds because of its Instagram integration, making Threads the new micro-blogging king.
Threads had a record-breaking first day, with 40 million sign-ups in the first 24 hours the app was live. The platform then crossed the 100 million users mark in its first five days. This growth is extraordinary, and a large part of it must be the simplicity of the sign-up process. The whopping increase in users could also be because of the perceived stability of Meta’s apps compared to Twitter’s ever-changing landscape.
Twitter’s Declining User Base
— Matthew Prince 🌥 (@eastdakota) July 9, 2023
Cloudflare, a website that tracks domain rankings and search traffic, released a graph on July 9 showing that Twitter traffic has been severely declining since the beginning of 2023. The most significant drops can be seen in July, the same month that Threads launched. Twitter has made many controversial changes lately, including the introduction of its Twitter Blue subscription service, which gives subscribers a blue checkmark beside their usernames, increases the Tweet length limit from 280 characters to 25,000 characters, and offers Twitter Blue users prioritized rankings in conversations and search, meaning you are more likely to see a subscriber’s Tweet or comment than a non-subscriber’s.
To address extreme levels of data scraping & system manipulation, we’ve applied the following temporary limits:
– Verified accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day
– Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day
– New unverified accounts to 300/day
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 1, 2023
Elon Musk also recently stated that Twitter users would be limited to how many Tweets they could view daily. Musk alleges he did this to combat “data scraping” by AI companies. Limiting the number of Tweets seen each day also decreases traffic and lowers user retention on the platform. This change caused outrage amongst users, with some complaining that they couldn’t even see their own Tweets anymore.
How on earth did I already use up all my rate limits I thought Blue users had a limit of 8000 or something? Now I can't even see my own tweets what is happening 😂 pic.twitter.com/HynXIEeGBR
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) July 1, 2023
Twitter’s Ad Sales Plunge
Twitter’s changes have also not been popular with advertisers. Twitter Blue users see half of the ads that regular users see, shrinking the reach advertisers can achieve on Twitter. The recent change in how many Tweets users can see per day also affects how many ads they can be shown, further reducing the platform’s reach. From the first week of April to the first week of May 2023, Twitter ad revenue was down 59 per cent from a year earlier. Over half of Twitter’s top 1000 advertisers have also stopped advertising on the platform. Twitter’s value has dropped from $44 billion to about $15 billion, a third of what Musk had paid for it.
Twitter has seen so much change on the platform over the last year that it’s no wonder Meta thinks it can compete with Twitter by launching a similar app. Threads poses a severe threat to Twitter. With its Instagram integration, users can sign up for Threads in a matter of seconds, which has led to the exponential growth of the new platform. After five days, Threads has roughly a quarter of Twitter’s entire user base. Twitter has been having its own problems under Musk’s new leadership, including decreased website traffic, and fewer advertisers on the platform, making it all the more vulnerable to new competition. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming weeks, but Twitter’s dominance as the go-to microblogging website has never been more in danger.
Focus Communications has always prioritized understanding emerging technologies to provide the best services to our clients. Our very own Sue Heuman was an early Threads adopter. She was the 167,052nd user on the platform, having joined the second the Android app became available. You can follow Focus Communications on Threads @focuscom.