Twitter traffic is “tanking” as Threads reaches 100m users in record time

According to Similarweb, there was a significant drop in user retention on Musk’s platform.

It’s looking unlikely that Elon Musk’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s cage fight will be going ahead (who would’ve guessed?), but the two are still trading blows in the social media space with the release of Meta’s Twitter dupe, Threads

Unfortunately, Musk’s Twitter has lost a substantial amount of credibility since his takeover last October. Plenty of employees were cut, accounts of white supremacists were reinstated, and advertisers retreated in their droves. Now, Twitter’s usage appears to be plummeting following the launch of Threads.

Threads arrived during Twitter’s darkest hour, where there was a limit on how many tweets a user could view per day. Meta decided to strike the iron while it was hot, releasing their app that allows you to sign up through your Instagram account, making it extremely accessible. It’s a strategy that has led to over 100 million downloads at the time of writing. The previous fastest growing app was OpenAI’s ChatGPT, but it took that site two months to achieve the same figure.

Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has released a number of updates throughout those days, saying that the growth was “way beyond our expectations”, it hit two million in two hours and ten million in seven hours, he had said.

Cloudflare chief executive Matthew Prince shared a graph showing an apparent decline in Twitter’s popularity following Elon Musk’s takeover of the social network late last year, with a steep drop appearing at the start of July when tech rival Mark Zuckerberg launched his text-based app.

Separate figures from data intelligence platform Similarweb showed that traffic to Twitter was down 5 per cent in the first two full days that Threads was available, compared with the previous week, while user retention has also declined.

In a report on the trend, Similarweb noted that the drop in user retention is “a bad sign for app user loyalty” for Twitter. However, the metric only accounts for people visiting Twitter’s website and not those using the app, with other measures suggesting the number of daily active users steadily increased in the nine months following Mr Musk’s takeover.

Twitter had 229 million monthly active users in May 2022, according to a statement made before Elon Musk bought it late last year, while more recent data from Statista puts the figure at 436 million.

Despite Threads performing incredibly well when it comes to the user base, there are concerns when it comes to user privacy. Zuckerberg has already proved himself to be untrustworthy with his user’s data following the Cambridge Analytica scandal – where personal data belonging to millions of Facebook users was collected without their consent.

Tech analyst Faine Greenwood also recently posted on Bluesky about the “Terrible Uncle Problem” that may come to plague the app: “Meta-ensuring Threads integrates with Facebook, and Instagram means your weird older relatives will easily be able to find you there. A lot of people do NOT want that.”

So, Threads may be the cool new kid on the block, but it still remains to be seen whether the large user base can convert into a thriving community such as we see on Twitter. But, overall, the thrill of a new competitor entering the social media space can only be a good thing, whether it helps Twitter get their act together, or even if Threads takes its place, it means we’ll no longer see an app cruise through its existence.

WriterChris Saunders
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