X: Hanging on by Threads

August 24, 2023

Threads is the new text-based, conversational social platform from Meta — the makers of Facebook and Instagram. It co-opts the functionality of X (formerly Twitter), and some predict it will lead to the demise of the troubled platform. But is news of X’s demise greatly exaggerated?

Threads user base is growing…fast 
Threads reports 100 million users and counting, making it the fastest growing app we’ve seen in some time — maybe ever. Independent sources are reporting that X’s traffic (which was already trending downward) took an even deeper plunge as new Threads users ballooned in early July.

Could this really be the end for X? 
It’s too early to make the call on X’s demise, but the once beloved short-form social app is going to have to respond quickly and smartly if they want to regain the interest of users and advertisers. In recent months, X has been plagued by staffing issues, technical fails and erratic decisions that are inherently changing the core product. The alienation of X’s most tenured users and advocates started long before Threads. X itself has largely refrained from comment or official statement. So far, a cease and desist and some personal jabs from Musk directed at Zuckerberg appear to be the only acknowledgement the company has made since Threads launched.

What are people saying about Threads? 
For the most part, people are responding positively. One Instagram influencer with over 317k followers and a seven-figure online business had this to say about the app: “Instagram: 3 hours making a Reel that 10% of my followers see. Threads: 2 brain cells form a barely cohesive thought. 1,000 followers. I love it here.” She goes on to add, “Hot take: Threads is doing so well because everyone is fatigued by the constant stream of video content. This feels like the collective breath of fresh air we didn’t know we needed.” That’s just one take, but it would seem Threads is filling the X void of readable content and creators are enjoying how free-form the platform is meant to be…for now.

Easy discoverability for creators…for now
Meta admits to needing more time to roll out some features that will contribute to Threads’ core functionality. Right now, there is no “following” feed — so, your Threads feed is going be a stream of content from both people you follow and people you don’t, much like TikTok’s “for you page” or “fyp.” The upside of this for creators on Threads is organic discoverability — but this likely won’t remain the case for long.

We’ll continue to keep you posted on the latest — until then, happy Threading!