Threads: An Analysis of Instagram’s Text-Based Conversation App
Threads, Instagram’s text-based conversation app, made its debut in July 2023 and quickly gained popularity, reaching 100 million active users within just ten days. Its remarkable growth surpassed that of ChatGPT, the previous fastest-growing app. The initial surge in Threads’ popularity even led to a decline in Twitter’s traffic, as consumers flocked to explore this exciting new platform amidst Twitter’s ongoing controversies.
Is Threads Losing Momentum?
However, despite its promising start, recent data suggests that Threads may be losing steam. According to SimilarWeb, usage of the app dropped by 79%, and the time spent on the platform decreased by 89% just one month after its launch. In the United States, users went from spending an average of 21 minutes per day on the app to a mere three minutes by August 7th. Additionally, the user base contracted by more than half since its initial release.
While these statistics indicate a significant decline in Threads’ initial popularity, it’s important to consider the consumer perspective and avoid hastily labeling it as a passing fad. To gain deeper insights into the app’s potential future, we conducted a survey among social media users in the U.S. in September.
Consumer Sentiment and Usage
The survey revealed that respondents often described Threads as “new, innovative, and disruptive.” This sentiment aligns with the app’s early disruptive impact, diverting attention away from a more established platform like Twitter.
When asked about the time spent on various social media platforms since July, 21% of respondents reported dedicating an hour or more to Threads. Despite this figure, SimilarWeb’s data suggests that U.S. users spent no more than three minutes on the app after August.
Interestingly, 24% of the respondents claimed to have spent the same amount of time on Threads in August as they did in July. Additionally, 21% stated that they increased their usage of the app significantly. When comparing Threads’ usage to the established X platform, most users reported spending a similar amount of time on both channels between July and August.
Looking ahead, the majority of respondents said they anticipate using Threads to the same extent as they do currently. However, approximately 17% indicated that they would likely stop using the app altogether.
Implications for Marketers
While Threads has undoubtedly lost some of its initial hype, it is premature to declare its demise. The survey data suggests that consumers still maintain an interest in the platform, but they may require more compelling reasons to remain engaged long-term. Roughly 24% of respondents described the app as boring or unengaging, which is only one percentage point lower than those who lauded it as new, innovative, and disruptive.
For marketers, it is crucial to recognize that Threads is still a young platform, making long-term usage predictions challenging. To capture and retain user interest, businesses on the app must work diligently. As a Meta product, Threads benefits from the company’s significant reach, decreasing the likelihood of failure. New features and capabilities may be added over time to re-engage bored users and entice them back to the platform.
In light of these uncertainties, marketers are advised to adopt an experimental mindset, as strategies successful on more established platforms like Facebook may not necessarily yield the same results on Threads. Keen observation of user behavior and thorough testing should guide marketing efforts, ensuring preparedness for any future developments.
Remember, skeptics once doubted TikTok’s longevity, yet it has emerged as a dominant force in the social media landscape. Therefore, keeping a watchful eye on Threads and its evolving dynamics can position marketers for success.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Threads is a text-based conversation app created by Instagram. It allows users to have private conversations with their close friends, share quick updates, and exchange photos and videos.
Threads gained popularity due to its innovative approach to communication and its ability to provide users with a more intimate and personal space for conversations compared to other social media platforms.
While Threads experienced a decline in usage after its initial surge in popularity, it remains relevant as users continue to express interest in the platform. As a Meta product, Threads is likely to receive updates and improvements that could reignite user engagement and attract new users.