Twitter traffic ‘tanking’ while Threads passes 100m users

11 Jul 2023

Image: © JK2507/

Threads appears to benefit from being connected to Instagram, while data from Cloudflare suggests Twitter traffic has been dropping for months.

Twitter’s new challenger has surged in popularity, as the Meta app Threads has surpassed 100m users less than five days after launch.

Data platform Quiver Quantitative claims the number of users on Threads has reached more than 104m since launching last week. The app is linked to Instagram, which likely helped give it a boost as users can quickly create a Threads account using their Instagram profile. Instagram itself has around 1.2bn monthly users.

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri also confirmed that Threads surpassed 100m users and said of the achievement: “It’s insane; I can’t make sense of it”.

“The team has been busting their ass, but we know this is a race to the starting line,” Mosseri said in a Threads post. “They say ‘make it work, make it great, make it grow’. Well, we certainly did things out of order, but I promise we will make this thing great.”

The app’s rapid rise has caused concerns for Twitter owner Elon Musk, who has been targeting Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg in multiple, odd tweets. He also threatened Meta with a lawsuit over allegations that Threads looks too similar to Twitter, is an affront to its IP and was built by former Twitter employees who held on to trade secrets.

That’s according to Twitter lawyer Alex Spiro, who made the claims in a letter to Zuckerberg dated 5 July, which accused Meta of “systematic, wilful and unlawful misappropriation” of Twitter’s trade secrets.

Twitter tanking

But while Threads makes its rapid rise as a social media app, Twitter appears to be falling behind in terms of its userbase.

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince shared an image of DNS rankings over time, showing Twitter’s ranking falling from 32 to roughly 39 between January and July of this year. Prince said “Twitter traffic tanking” in the tweet.

Twitter has been in a chaotic period since Musk’s takeover, with a significantly reduced workforce, multiple outages and concerns among advertisers.

But recent developments caused an outcry among Twitter’s user base. The site imposed limits to the number of tweets that accounts can see in a day, in a bid to tackle data scraping from other companies. It was during this period of turmoil that Threads decided to make its debut.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic