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Battle of the apps: Twitter vs Threads

It’s been a month since Threads exploded onto the social media scene, and what a month it has been.

A lot has happened since our last blog: Day 1 on Threads: What you need to know. Meta’s new platform has been on a real journey. First, it gained users (30 million within the first 24 hours to be exact!), and now it’s losing them. Not to mention, there has been a whole rebrand of Thread-rival, Twitter, or ‘X’ as it’s now known.

Threads is losing users

Within a few days of its launch, Threads made headlines by reaching 100 million users and becoming the most rapidly growing app ever developed. Whilst this is unarguably an incredible achievement, it is one thing to gain users, but it’s another to keep them.

Threads has proved this point. It seems the initial excitement of Threads is wearing off as its daily active user count is down by over four-fifths since its launch. However, user loss is expected during app launch and with the vast number of users who signed up, this loss still leaves them with a healthy amount of users.

Threads is still in its infancy and with updates teased including a web interface, improved search function and hashtags, the user experience is only set to improve in the short term. In fact, Meta has already begun to update the app based on user feedback. In an update last week, they added a “Following” tab which offers users the option to only see posts from people they follow in their feed. This is something users had been desperate for, as the original timeline that was built around Meta’s algorithm, often shows content from people you don’t follow and which may not be really relevant.

Twitter’s rebrand to ‘X’

Simultaneously, Twitter has had a few updates of its own. Elon Musk has rebranded the platform as ‘X’. Whilst the rebrand doesn’t seem to be anything more than a new logo and a large flashing X at Twitter HQ, Musk has been vocal about his goal of turning Twitter into a so-called super-app.

It is thought that Musk is hoping to achieve something similar to China’s WeChat, where users can do just about anything that a person would want to do online. Musk’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino tweeted, or ‘x’d’, “X is the future state of unlimited interactivity — centred in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking — creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services and opportunities. Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”

The updates, however, have seemed to accelerate users’ disengagement with the platform. Usage was already fading, but the platform is expected to lose a further 32m users in the next two years.

Battle of the apps: Twitter vs Threads

Users are picking sides

The uncertainty of the landscape provides a unique opportunity for either app to become the preferred text-based conversation platform. Although it is still too early to tell whether Threads or Twitter will come out on top in the long term, we imagine users will spend the next year experimenting.

Whilst audiences are still split between the two, we will continue to utilise each platform strategically. It’s important to tailor your content to each platform given the different user interface and audience.


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