Threads approaches first anniversary with 175m monthly users

4 Jul 2024

Image: © MASHKA/

The challenger app to X had a rapid rise when it launched last year, but this was quickly followed by a disastrous decline in its user base.

Threads, the challenger app to X that Meta launched nearly one year ago, has passed the milestone of 175m monthly active users according to its owner.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on Threads and added the phrase “what a year”. It certainly has been quite the year for the fledgling app, as it began with a meteoric rise followed by a sudden crash in activity.

Adam Mosseri, Meta’s head of Instagram, also commented on Threads’ latest milestone and thanked the team for shipping improvements “week after week”.

“An even bigger thanks to the Threads community for being here,” Mosseri said. “Everyone has something valuable to say – and we aim to build a place where anyone can comfortably share their ideas.”

From rise to fall to rise?

Threads launched on 5 July 2023 after years of speculation – the app had been in development from as early as 2019. But more rumours began brewing in early 2023 about Meta working on a decentralised platform to capitalise on a growing demand for an alternative to X – back when it was called Twitter – after Elon Musk took over the social media platform in 2022.

The app launched suddenly during a chaotic period for Twitter and had one of the most successful product launches ever – Threads surpassed 100m users less than five days after it launched. Musk was so unhappy with the success that he threatened Meta with a lawsuit over allegations that Threads looked too similar to Twitter.

But this rapid rise was followed with a period of stagnation. Criticisms rose about Threads being boring, lacking features or an identity of its own – the app is connected to Instagram. By 4 August, analytics firms claimed the app’s daily active users had dropped by more than 80pc.

The app has had various updates since then that have helped it rise back to a stable user base. It eventually launched in the EU at the end of 2023 and moved towards becoming a more decentralised platform in a beta test earlier this year, something that the app was initially advertised as in 2023.

But despite Meta celebrating the app’s userbase milestone, it has failed to become the challenger app to X that it was initially portrayed as. Threads still has a long way to go before it can match X’s 600m monthly active users. That figure comes from Musk, though other reports suggest X has been struggling to retain users this year.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic