Unless you live under a rock, or do not pay attention to news on the internet, television, radio, or TV, but somehow you chose to read this blog, you know that Meta (aka Facebook and Instagram) launched a new social media app called Threads. Is it a Twitter killer or an Instagram killer? Though Meta’s Threads got off to a hot start, Sensor Tower and Similarweb report daily active users dropped approximately 20% between Saturday and Tuesday, and active time on Threads dropped 50% to an average of 10 minutes. “The backing of Meta and the integration with Instagram likely gives Threads a much higher flood than other services, but it will need a more compelling value proposition than simply ‘Twitter, but without Elon Musk,’ ” says Sensor Tower’s Anthony Bartolacci.
I bumped into Threads on Instagram. I was invited to “be notified when the app launched.” So, I did. I somehow was user number 882,181. I joined the day it launched.
The way that Threads launched was to invite Instagram users to join. This is central to my question about killing Twitter or killing Instagram. When I joined Threads, I was not asked to invite my Twitter followers, they wanted me to tow over my Instagram followers. So that is what I did.
In the early hours and days of Threads, my notifications were all about people joining Threads and adding me. I am no big deal on Instagram. I have about 1,700 followers. On the other hand, my daughter has 20k. Moreover, her summer internship has her working on the social media team for Paramount Plus and their many shows – hundreds of thousands, or in some cases millions, of followers. Talk about notification overload.
In seven hours, Threads hit the million-user mark. As the illustration shows, this is faster user adoption than Netflix, Twitter, Facebook, Spotify, Instagram, and ChatGPT.
Getting a million people to do anything in seven hours is absolutely amazing. However, what they really did was move a million users from Instagram over to Threads. Again, when you read the posts on Threads, many users (including me) began to immediately wonder about content spamming. When should I post on Instagram vs. when I should post on Threads. Should I post to both? In truth, I am not a big poster on social media anymore. I am more of a watcher – trying to listen to people and stay connected in some small way.
This image came across my Threads feed. I do not know who created it, but it is very funny. How many social media platforms do we really need? I have been trying to use different social media platforms for different things. This was not always the case. For years, I posted everything everywhere and my connects on socials were duplicative. Now I try to put business stuff on LinkedIn, connect with friends and family on Facebook, and stay connected to the dance community on Instagram. Oddly, I rarely used Twitter until Threads launched, then and I jumped back in. There are some great conversations happening on Twitter today about buyer-agency and about Howard Hanna opting out of IDX (inside baseball for real estate). I was using Twitter a lot during COVID because of web3 and stock market posts, but those ebbed as the virus waned and life returned to normal.
Sure, I used Clubhouse for a while. It was a nice chance to do random group internet conference calls with folks I know. I am not sure how fast that product was adopted or how fast people left, but I do not recall seeing an invite to Clubhouse on twitter in more than six months.
Back to Threads.
In five days, Threads hit 100 million users. That is a big number. Instagram is at 2.35 billion users. So, you figure that most or all of the 100 million came as a carve out from Instagram. Instagram, like Twitter and other social media platforms, has a lot of fake accounts and dead accounts.
The filtering effect of moving users over to Threads is a nice way to shrink an audience and focus on people that are engaged. We will see where things go on engagement. I am keeping an eye on engagement on Instagram, Twitter, and Threads. For a while, I will have notifications turned on for my accounts. We will see where this goes.
As for Threads killing Twitter, if you’re apt to believe Elon Musk or Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino, Twitter recently hit a record day of usage since February.
We wrote a post last week about brands on Threads. I think that the suggestions in the post held true. You can check it out here.