Remember Threads, Zuckerberg’s Twitter-killer, and the expansion to Instagram? The messaging service would bring a new era of informational freedom to rival and exceed that of former Twitter.
Well, recent data shows that it’s not Twitter but TikTok that is the real threat to Threads. That’s because the trending roles have switched. Former Twitter, current X, is no longer the trendsetter.
That honor was passed on to TikTok. Gen Z is all over the platform, following and creating new trends every day. And the platform is immensely popular due to its short-video format.
As of 2022, Twitter and Facebook have fallen sharply in teen usage. TikTok, on the other hand, has experienced a massive upshift in teenage usage during the same period.
The major problem with Threads is that it doesn’t seem to have an identity of its own other than:
- Being a companion app to Instagram
- Being a rival to Twitter
Even its huge influx of users immediately post-launch has since cooled down. Back then, there were 49 million mobile users per month using Threads.
Now, that number has dropped to around 10 million on August 7. Many are saying this is a sign of the platform’s insufficient uniqueness in the social media sphere.
There was the initial buzz and hype that had built around Twitter’s downfall. But once people got to see what Threads was all about, the hype died off.
Jasmine Enberg, an Insider Intelligence analyst, said that “Threads’ biggest challenge is being able to find a unique identity outside of being a Twitter alternative and outside of the expansion of Instagram.“
The first potential obstacle to users is that Threads requires an Instagram account. If you don’t have one, you’ll have to create it. And once you boot up Threads, you’ll receive generic recommendations that aren’t too appealing.
Even if you bring your Instagram connections, you won’t see to many posts from your friends if they’re not really chatty. And they’re bound not to be because Threads is a new app.
Mark Zuckerberg himself said that “It has been sort of this weird anomalous thing in the tech industry that there hasn’t been an app for public discussions like this that has reached 1 billion people. When I look at the different social experiences, it just seems that there should be one like this.“
In the end, he also said that “It’s awesome that we get a chance to work on this, and I’m really optimist about were we are. But it’s going to be a long road ahead.“
Defeating TikTok will be no small feat, considering the time and userbase advantage that the Chinese-owned platform has on Threads.
It remains to be seen how things advance!
- Pew Research Center – Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022
- Ap news – For Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads, the Real Rival Is Still TikTok – Not the Former Twitter