Threads, Meta’s latest social platform, has taken the social media world by storm, amassing 100 million users in just over two days, and is emerging as a potential threat to Twitter’s lock on influencers of all shapes and sizes (consumer brand, media, financial, political, social) and eventually for those seeking real-time news and debate, which for our money is what will make or break Threads’ success.
This rapid rise in popularity has had a significant impact on Twitter. According to Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, Twitter has been grappling with a noticeable decline in traffic since the beginning of 2023. Now, with the launch of the Threads app, Twitter traffic seems to have taken another huge hit.
On the flip side, in a recent article in the Guardian, Rebecca McGrath, a technology analyst for the market research firm Mintel, said app users are historically reluctant to change their platform choices entirely, which in normal circumstances would not bode well for Threads. However, she says Elon Musk has created “a unique opportunity” for Zuckerberg by unleashing a wave of controversy and platform changes since the takeover.
“Once a platform becomes part of our lives, we don’t really move away from it. But this is a unique situation where Twitter has become so controversial it has opened up a gap in the market that did not exist before.” And from our research, we are seeing it play out. Over the last ten years, we have built an unrivaled database of 100,000 Premium Influential Sources; many are now on Threads, indicating that the platform is being taken very seriously. We are shortly rolling out the capability of tracking conversations on the platform for our clients.
Politicians on both sides of the spectrum flocked to Threads on its first full day online, including half of the 16 candidates running for US president, a pair of the White House’s most social-media savvy aides, and many prominent members of Congress. As of Thursday evening, more than a quarter of Congress’ 535 House members and senators made accounts.
In the UK, Threads is now the host of prominent British political tweeters seeking sanctuary from Elon Musk’s troubled platform. Westminster journalists also appeared to embrace the new app, with prominent reporters from the BBC, Sky, ITV, and a host of national newspapers signing up. But the app remains off-limits in the European Union amid competition concerns.
Most Twitter competitors have struggled to match the size and bipartisanship of its user base, but Threads is garnering significant participation from both parties.
By the numbers: Threads will reach close to 200 million daily active users and generate about $8 billion in annual revenue over the next two years, Evercore ISI analysts led by Mark Mahaney estimate, ahead of the $5.1 billion in sales and revenue Twitter earned in its last full year as a public company. Call me an optimist, but with numbers like that, Threads will likely be the first real competitor to challenge Twitter’s dominance.
Either way, we will continue to monitor both platforms and keep you informed as the landscape changes.