Threads Surges in Popularity as X Faces Controversy and Decline

25 December 2023

The text-based social media platform Threads has emerged as a popular alternative to X in the wake of Elon Musk’s tumultuous takeover of Twitter.

Threads, a social media app developed by Meta, has seen a significant rise in popularity recently, becoming the most downloaded app in Apple’s US app store. This surge in popularity comes as X, the platform acquired by Elon Musk, faces controversy and declining user numbers. Threads, which functions similarly to X, initially struggled due to its lack of features but has gained traction after updates and the expansion into the European Union. Meanwhile, X has been plagued by advertiser exodus and public outbursts from Musk himself.

Threads’ Rise to the Top Spot

Threads launched six months ago and quickly gained popularity, breaking the record for an app to hit 150 million downloads. However, usage declined as the app lacked features and was relatively basic. The development team behind Threads made improvements to the platform, and with the launch of a web version and expansion into the European Union, usage began to increase again. This week, Threads reached the top spot in Apple’s App Store, surpassing other popular apps like Temu. It is also the fifth most downloaded free app in the Google Play Store.

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Steady Growth and Promising Numbers

Over the past three months, Threads has experienced steady growth in user numbers. Daily active users have increased by 17%, reaching nearly 35 million people, while monthly active users have grown by 27%, totaling just under 140 million people. Since its launch, Threads has been downloaded 445 million times. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has expressed optimism about the platform, stating that he envisions it becoming a “1 billion-person conversation app that’s a bit more positive.”

X’s Controversial Transformation

In contrast to Threads’ success, X has faced a decline in user numbers and advertiser support. Daily active users of X have fallen by 5% over the past three months, and monthly active users have decreased by 1%. Since Musk renamed the platform X, it has struggled to maintain its previous popularity and has faced criticism for Musk’s engagement with racist and antisemitic tweets. Major advertisers have pulled out, putting X’s future in jeopardy.

Musk’s Outbursts and Advertiser Exodus

Elon Musk’s public outbursts and controversial statements have further contributed to X’s decline. At the New York Times’s DealBook conference, Musk responded to questions about the advertiser exodus by suggesting he was being blackmailed and telling advertisers to “go fuck yourself.” He also acknowledged that the loss of advertisers could potentially “kill the company.” Musk’s extreme conservative political views and his deviation from the Twitter brand have alienated advertisers and users alike.

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Conclusion: As Threads surges in popularity, offering a text-based social media alternative to X, the latter platform faces declining user numbers and advertiser support. The success of Threads can be attributed to its continuous improvements and expansion, while X’s decline can be traced back to Musk’s controversial actions and statements. The contrasting trajectories of these platforms highlight the importance of user experience, brand reputation, and responsible leadership in the world of social media.

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