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Threads is struggling to retain users — but it could still catch up to X

Threads is struggling to retain users — but it could still catch up to X


Instagram’s Threads is forecast to have 23.7 million monthly active users in the US by the end of this year as opposed to X’s 56.1 million, according to Insider Intelligence.

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Image: The Verge

Threads, Instagram’s X (formerly Twitter) competitor, is struggling to keep users around following its blockbuster launch, according to data from Insider Intelligence. The data, which was first reported on by CNBC, suggests that Threads will have far fewer monthly active users than Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok by the end of this year, but it may still have a chance to close the gap with X.

Insider Intelligence indicates that Threads will have 23.7 million active monthly users in the US by the end of 2023. That’s far fewer than what’s expected for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, which Insider Intelligence says could have 177.9 million, 135.2 million, and 102.3 million respective US active monthly users by the end of 2023.

Surprisingly, Elon Musk’s X is forecast to have 56.1 million active monthly users in the US by the end of 2023, but Insider Intelligence warns that this number won’t stay high for long. The agency predicts that X’s monthly active users will have dropped to 47 million by 2025 if users continue to defect from the platform. Conversely, Insider Intelligence predicts Threads could have 30 million users in 2025.

“Threads received an initial boost from Twitter’s missteps, but it can’t rely on X defectors to continue to grow,” Jasmine Enberg, Insider Intelligence’s principal analyst, says in a statement. Enberg adds that if Musk goes through with his plan to charge everyone to access X, it could further alienate its user base.

Threads quickly surpassed 100 million signups after its launch. However, the number of daily active users on the platform rapidly declined in the following weeks, with Sensor Tower and Similarweb reporting significant drop-offs. Since its launch, Meta has rolled out a Threads web app, along with several highly-requested features including a search feature, a following feed, and a way to share posts through Instagram DMs. Although Threads is meant to be a direct replacement for X, it may need to add more than just core features in order for it to gain and keep new users.