Threads User Engagement Plummets: Time Spent on App Drops by 50%

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Threads User Engagement Plummets: Time Spent on App Drops by 50%
24 Jul 2023
4 min read

News Synopsis

Threads Faces Declining User Engagement

Despite a promising start with 100 million sign-ups shortly after its release, Threads, Meta's Twitter alternative, is grappling with declining user engagement. App tracking firm Sensor Tower's data highlights a worrisome trend, showing a 20% decrease in active users and a staggering 50% reduction in average time spent on the app—from 20 minutes to just 10 minutes.

The drop in user engagement mirrors the initial decline experienced by Twitter after Threads' launch.

Struggles of Twitter Alternatives

Threads is not the only contender vying to compete with Twitter but facing challenges in retaining users. Other platforms, such as Mastodon—a decentralised social network that surged in sign-ups after Elon Musk's Twitter acquisition—and Bluesky, a decentralised social media protocol backed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, have also seen dwindling user interest.

A Different Focus from Twitter

One of the primary factors influencing Threads' struggles lies in its unique positioning compared to Twitter. While Twitter is known for its live breaking news and as a go-to platform during major events, Threads, under the leadership of Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram and Threads, has explicitly stated its lack of interest in promoting news and political content.

This distinct approach has shaped user preferences and engagement on both platforms.

Integration with Instagram Limits Anonymity

Another challenge faced by Threads is its direct integration with Instagram, which limits its appeal to users who prefer to remain anonymous. Unlike Twitter, where a significant number of users operate under pseudonyms, Threads' association with Instagram eliminates this feature, potentially deterring users seeking anonymity on a microblogging platform.

Brands and Creators on Threads

Brands and content creators have had mixed experiences with Threads. While some, like SUGAR Cosmetics, have successfully used the platform for engaging content delivery and witnessed increased user adoption, others have observed a decline in engagement.

Brands such as Myntra have attempted to revitalize user interest by leveraging Threads for creative campaigns, adding another layer of visibility among digital-savvy audiences.

Diverse Perspectives from Content Creators

Content creators also offer diverse perspectives on Threads. Some, like Jatan Bawa, founder of oral care brand Perfora, appreciate the platform's potential for short-form conversations and content. In contrast, others, like entrepreneur and content creator Ankur Warikoo, feel that Threads has become an extension of Instagram rather than a distinct app. Social media strategist Myron Shneider finds success in engaging with larger audiences and leveraging humor on Threads, while YouTuber Dhruv Rathee expresses reservations due to the lack of unique features and a significant user base.

The Future of Threads

The decline in user engagement on Threads underscores the challenges faced by Twitter alternatives in a market dominated by the established microblogging giant. However, companies remain optimistic about the platform's potential for engaging users in new and diverse ways.

As Meta refines its offerings and addresses user feedback, the future of Threads will depend on its ability to stay relevant, differentiate itself from Instagram, and meet the evolving needs and preferences of its users.

Conclusion

Threads, the Twitter alternative launched by Meta, has faced significant challenges in maintaining user engagement, evident from a 20% decrease in active users and a notable 50% reduction in time spent on the app. Despite a promising start with millions of sign-ups, Threads has struggled to retain its user base, much like other Twitter rivals in the past.

One of the main factors contributing to Threads' decline in engagement is its distinct focus compared to Twitter. While Twitter is known for its live breaking news and political content, Threads has deliberately avoided promoting such content, influencing user preferences and engagement on both platforms.

Additionally, Threads' integration with Instagram has limited its appeal to users seeking anonymity, unlike Twitter, which offers more anonymity through pseudonyms.

Brands and content creators have had mixed experiences on Threads, with some finding success in engaging users and delivering engaging content, while others have observed a dip in user engagement.

As Meta continues to refine its offerings and address user feedback, the future of Threads will depend on its ability to differentiate itself from Instagram and meet the evolving needs and preferences of its users.

The challenges faced by Threads highlight the competitive nature of the microblogging market dominated by Twitter.

As Meta strives to improve and innovate its platform, the key lies in striking the right balance between catering to unique user preferences and offering distinctive features that set Threads apart from its competitors.

While the road ahead may present obstacles, the potential for Threads to engage users in new and diverse ways remains promising. As the platform evolves and adapts to changing user demands, it may carve out its niche and solidify its position in the ever-evolving landscape of social media.

TWN In-Focus