Threads Sees Drop-Off in Engagement After Rapid Growth

Threads is reportedly experiencing a drop-off in growth and engagement about a week after its debut.

The slowdown experienced by Threads, which is Meta’s new text-based social media platform, comes after it reported 100 million sign-ups in the first five days after its launch, CNBC reported Friday (July 14), citing data from marketing intelligence firm Sensor Tower and digital data and analytics company Similarweb.

In a Friday post on Threads, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said the platform’s growth, retention and engagement are “all way ahead” of what he expected on its eighth day.

“Our focus right now is not engagement, which has been amazing, but getting past the initial peak and trough we see with every new product, and building new features, dialing in performance, and improving ranking,” Mosseri said in the post.

A company spokesperson told CNBC: “While it’s early days, we’re excited about the initial success of Threads, which has surpassed our expectations. We launched the app just over a week ago, and our focus now is on ensuring stable performance, delivering new features and continuing to improve the experience in the coming months.”

Sensor Tower data suggests a pullback in user engagement, with the platform’s number of daily active users on Monday and Tuesday down about 20% from Saturday and the average time spent per user down 50%, from 20 minutes to 10 minutes, according to the CNBC report.

Similarweb data showed a drop of more than 25% in daily active users between its July 7 peak and Monday (July 10) for Threads users on Android phones worldwide, the report said. The usage time dropped from 20 minutes on July 6 to eight minutes on July 10.

“We did see engagement drop somewhat over the weekend, and on Monday we estimate Threads had 36.6 million active users on Android,” David Carr, senior insights manager at Similarweb, said in the report. “While there was intense interest in checking out the app initially, not every user has made a habit of visiting Threads as often as they might other social apps.”

However, research from Insider Intelligence suggests the platform could potentially match Twitter as its usage increases. “Meta only needs 1 in 4 Instagram users to use Threads monthly for it to be as big as Twitter,” Jasmine Enberg, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, said in the report.

Threads’ rapid growth in its first five days was aided by an ecosystem jumpstart approach in which the new social media platform took advantage of Meta’s native scale and was launched in more than 100 countries, QED Investors Partner Amias Gerety told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in an interview posted Thursday (July 13).

Gerety added that, at least for now, Threads exists solely as a head-to-head competitor to Twitter and content creators will post the same content across both platforms.

“The creators will decide which platform is better, where do they get better monetization rates, where do they get better engagement, where do they get higher quality engagement, and that will either start to create a network effect over at Threads, or it will decay very fast,” Gerety said.