Last July was an eventful time for social media. Twitter was rebranded as “X,” to the chagrin of many. Meta launched Threads, which broke records for the fastest-growing social media platform, reaching over 100 million users within just a week. Threads was slated to wedge X out of the market and become the go-to app for real-time happenings.
But then within a month, the “Twitter Killer” lost nearly 80% of its daily active users. It quickly became evident that the app launched half-baked. It took until late August for Threads to be available on the web. Then it was discovered that users who wished to delete their Threads account would have to delete their Instagram account as well to accomplish this. Most users, myself included, quickly lost interest in what Threads had to offer.
Threads seemed like it was slowly unraveling, until in mid-December, when the app launched in the EU. It’s not yet apparent how many users Threads acquired during this launch, but within the same month it was reported that, X still maintained over 100x more web traffic than Threads.
Then we rang in the new year, and Fidelity disclosed “it had marked down the value of its shares by 71.5% since Musk’s purchase.” Fidelity currently values X at $12.5 billion, while the company was purchased by Musk in 2022 for $44 billion.
Currently, it seems like neither app is truly coming out on top. While X has steadily lost value over the last year, it still boasts a significantly larger share of traffic. Threads, however, has the advantage of time. Meta is playing a waiting game now, hoping for Musk to continue to fumble his acquisition of Twitter. Meta has the resources to keep Threads alive, even if it’s not currently turning a profit. Should X fail, Threads will be primed and ready to scoop up users looking for the Twitter experience.
I say “Twitter” here intentionally. Failure for X doesn’t mean shutting down its servers and filing for bankruptcy. If the platform changes to a point that it is no longer comparable to what Twitter was, Threads could seem more enticing to users, and the migration away from X could begin in full swing.