Meta’s answer to Twitter in doubt as users desert Threads

After a strong start that saw it attract more than 100 million users in its first five days, Mark Zuckerberg’s Instagram spin-off — which appears to be trying to mimic and perhaps even eclipse Twitter — has seen a sharp decline in returning custom.

Research compiled by cyber analyst SimilarWeb found that active daily users had dropped in the week between July 7th and July 14th from 49 million to 23.6 million. Moreover, over the same timeframe, average length of user engagement dropped from 21 minutes to just six.

The earlier date marked the high point so far of engagement with Threads, equivalent to about 45% of Android active daily users for Twitter on the same day (109 million).

While SimilarWeb says the data suggesting the staggeringly high number of initial sign-ups to Threads is likely valid, it stresses that these are not all converting into steady users of the new app, launched on July 5th.

SimilarWeb suggested that the reason for the decline in return users might be down to Threads still lacking essential features that make its rival Twitter popular, although it said that it had done better so far than other alternatives such as open-source platform Mastodon.

“In the race to replace Twitter, Threads is off to a strong start but still has a long way to go toward winning the enduring loyalty of those who partake in a social network dominated by text posts and linked articles,” it added.

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