Things haven’t been looking great for Twitter lately. Ever since the Elon Musk takeover, Twitter seems to have been going downhill. It has already lost nearly half of its advertising revenue since Mr. Musk bought the platform. It now risks losing many of its avid users.
With so many changes to the original idea and Twitter fans clearly unhappy with the recent rebrand to X, the platform seems to be struggling. And now, with the arrival of Meta’s Threads app, things have taken an even gloomier turn for the popular news-sharing app.
Threads, a new app launched by Meta on the 5th of July, has already sparked controversy all over the internet. Created as an alternative to Twitter, Threads has one goal: to keep users within the Meta social media world for longer.
Although Threads launched with a bang, attracting millions of users to the platform on its first day, the app is already declining in popularity. It turns out that Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to create a better version of Twitter is already failing.
In this article, we’ll talk about what is Threads and why this new Meta app already seems to be dying.
Threads Launch Inspired Millions to Sign Up on Day One
The launch of Threads was met with a massive response from Meta’s audience. It was born with a bang. 2 million app downloads in 2 hours since launch. 30 million sign-ups in 24 hours since launch. 100 million users in 5 days since launch.
What makes Threads so special to have reached these heights of popularity in just a few days since its release?
Well, nothing except a few powerful psychological triggers that moved the masses to download the app on its first day.
The fear of missing out
To begin with, people are naturally curious creatures. We rarely jump on new trends because we find them interesting. Instead, we jump on new trends because we don’t want to miss out on the fun.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a powerful psychological trigger. When used in marketing, it can become a driving force for people to do things they wouldn’t do otherwise.
If you signed up for Threads on the first day without really knowing why, your FOMO might be to blame.
The bandwagon effect
FOMO is closely related to another psychological trigger that influences people’s actions and behavior: the bandwagon effect. The bandwagon effect is a psychological phenomenon where people do something just because they see others doing it.
This is incredibly powerful in marketing. The more people we see signing up for the new app that just launched, the more inclined we feel to do it – even if we initially didn’t intend to do it. This is precisely what happened to Clubhouse. It started with a bang because it felt exclusive, and everyone wanted to be a part of it. Yet as the initial craze subsided, the app became deserted. Now, hardly anyone aside from its avid fans uses it.
Another factor that inspired millions to sign up for Threads in just a few days since its release is how easy it is to create an account. Threads has probably the easiest signup process any social media app has seen so far.
If you’re an Instagram user, you can sign up for Threads in two clicks. This will transfer your Instagram username, bio, and list of followers onto your Threads account.
This extremely easy signup process praises our natural laziness as a human species. We love convenience. The more convenient, fast, and easy something is, the more likely we are to do it. Convenience is easily the most powerful aspect of consumer psychology.
Threads Engagement Dropped Significantly a Few Days After Its Release
After hitting over 100 million users in the first five days after its release, Threads’ popularity has started to subside. The app’s daily active user count peaked just two days after launch and has been dropping ever since. Now, it’s down almost 70% from its peak on July 7th.
The massive drop after its explosive start can be the beginning of the end of Threads.
A few days after the initial craze started to fade away, people began to take a more critical look at Threads. And those who didn’t give in to the initial pressure had the time to realize that the app has serious data privacy issues.
Threads is probably the most invasive social media app in terms of data privacy. It collects more sensitive data than any other social media app. It wants to know everything – from the basic user data like name and location to the user’s financial info, health data, purchases, and browsing history.
Why would Threads want to know all that? You’d think it’s to improve the users’ advertising experience, but the app doesn’t yet display ads. So, it remains unclear why Threads collects all this data. This is one reason why it hasn’t yet launched in the EU.
In addition, Threads doesn’t let users delete their accounts unless they also delete their Instagram accounts. This realization caused many people to start doubting the intention of the app.
It Doesn’t Seem like Threads Is Going to Replace Twitter Anytime Soon
Although the initial idea behind Threads was to become an alternative to Twitter, it doesn’t seem to be doing a great job, as its user experience leaves a lot to desire.
To begin with, Threads lacks the infrastructure that makes Twitter such a great news-sharing platform. The brilliance of Twitter lies mainly in its trending hashtags, which allow users to keep up to date with the latest news and topics and even follow live tweets during important events.
Yet, Threads lacks the hashtag feature, and without it, there’s no way to follow trending topics.
Another critical issue is the Threads algorithm. Unlike Twitter, which allows users to choose what they want to see on their feed, Threads chooses it for them. The app provides you with a blend of content from people you follow and random users selected through a Meta algorithm without giving you much of a choice.
However, it seems like Meta plans to approach Threads differently in the coming months, allowing users to control what content they see rather than deciding that itself.
Will Threads End Up in the Graveyard of Other Failed Meta Projects?
So far, the initial Threads craze seems to be drastically fading. Will the app end up dying soon, just like other failed Meta projects? It’s likely, but it’s soon to tell.
If Meta takes a different approach to the app, starting with facing its data privacy issues and allowing users to decide what they see on their feeds, it may still be able to save itself from annihilation.
Another question is, will Threads kill Twitter? It seems rather unlikely, given that it’s not doing a great job of becoming a better version of Twitter.
But, in light of its recent rebrand to X, Twitter might just end up killing itself before Threads has a real chance at taking its place.