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Despite high hopes, growth is stalling for Meta’s Threads platform
By our News Team | 2023
This year, it will rank second-to-last among social networks in the US, a position that will remain unchanged through to 2025.
Threads, the platforms developed by Meta as a rival to X (formerly Twitter), skyrocketed almost immediately following its launch in July, breaking social media growth records.
But now it is losing its lustre, according to the inaugural Threads forecast from market analysis firm, Insider Intelligence.
Photo by Julio Lopez from Pexels
By the end of 2023, the firm expect Threads to have 23.7-million monthly users in the US, less than half the user base of X. That equates to 10.4% of social network users and 17.5% of Instagram users.
This year, it will rank second-to-last among social networks in the US, a position that will remain unchanged through to 2025, Insider Intelligence predicts.
“The path to 1-billion Threads users is longer than Meta would like,” says Jasmine Enberg, Principal Analyst at Insider Intelligence.
Network effect has yet to take hold
“The link to Instagram can only take Threads so far, and the clock is ticking for the network effect to take hold. While a drop in sign-ups and engagement was to be expected after Threads’ hyped-up launch, Meta needs early adopters to actively use the platform to continue to grow its user base.”
According to Enberg, it took Instagram roughly three years and Twitter (now X) nearly six years to reach the same number of US monthly users as Threads will have in less than a year-and-a-half.
“But Instagram and Twitter both launched when social networks were still relatively new. In 2010, the year Instagram rolled out, just 43.9% of US consumers used a social network monthly. The social landscape may have been less competitive back then, but user acquisition was more difficult.”
Enberg says Threads received an initial boost from Twitter’s missteps, but it can’t rely on X defectors to continue to grow.
“Still, Musk’s recent announcement to charge all X users a monthly subscription fee could open up a clearer avenue for Meta to monetise Threads. Assuming Musk doesn’t backtrack, the move will likely alienate more X users and potentially increase advertiser interest in Threads.”
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