When I wrote my initial impressions of Threads, I promised to circle back a few weeks later to see where things stood once the initial spike ended and the platform settled into a normal flow.
Those weeks have passed, the spike has subsided, something resembling normalcy is settling in, so let’s see where things stand.
According to Quiver Quantitative, there are currently about 118 million users on the platform. The first 100 million came in the 4-5 days after launch, the next 10 million took another 3-4 days, and in the roughly 11 days since they’ve gained about 8 million.
Yes, the spike is over, but keep in mind that growing by 1 million users every couple days would still get them to roughly 200 million users by the end of the year.
In the first week nearly 125 resorts created accounts. Since then about 10 additional resorts have created accounts. In the first week Vail snagged 25,000 followers and now sit at 26.5k, adding roughly 100 a day. Mammoth has passed them, but their growth very similar at this point.
In the first week, nearly 125 resorts joined Threads. In the last week 5 resorts have joined.
In the first week, 25,000 people followed the top resort account. In the last week that number has grown by 1,000.
The spike appears to be over, now the interesting part begins.
— Gregg Blanchard (@slopefillers) July 21, 2023
According to a report from Sensor Tower, daily active users peaked at 44m on July 7 and dropped to about 13 million as of a few days ago. Whether that number will continue to drop isn’t clear, but the more important question is not whether it will skyrocket again, but when active user growth starts tracking with total growth. At that point Meta will have a more predictable, stable user base that they can start feeding more attention, as users, into and know they’ll have a good chance of sticking.
One of the hardest parts about this phase of Threads’ growth is the lack of API access. Without a programmatic way to run the numbers, it can be a huge challenge to track growth. Even harder, the app doesn’t show the exact date when each posts was shared. That said, you can see if posts were shared during the last week or each of the previous two weeks. So I manually ran numbers across five early-adopter resorts for the first three weeks of Threads’ existence. What I found is that engagement has gone up each week the app has been in existence.
Only some of this can be explained by the growth in user count, because virtually all growth happened during the first week.
The other factor to consider as you mull over those engagement stats is that these five resorts posted 1/3 as many updates last week as they did the first week. Anecdotally it resorts seem to be getting better at figuring out the right posting frequency and type of content so that they’re posting more winners and fewer duds. In the last couple of weeks I’m seeing fewer “is this thing on” mic checks and more thoughtful, purposeful updates that build upon what is working in other platforms.
So let’s circle back to where we started and ask that question: now what? Let’s break that down in two ways.
First, what Threads is going to do.
For the most part, we know their plan. They wanted to get a basic version live to build that initial user base. They’ve done that. They wanted to get through the initial spike and keep the lights on. They’ve done that.
Post by @mosseriView on Threads
The next step was to start to release new features and, as of this week’s update, they’ve started to do that.
Post by @mosseriView on Threads
Listen, I still don’t think this is going to be a 500m+ user app like Twitter is/was, but Meta has the firepower to consistently push more of their 3.7 billion users into this app to give it every chance to grow and succeed.
And it seems Twit…I mean…X…isn’t exactly giving their users a lot of reasons to stick around.
Second, what resorts are going to do.
Even the resorts who were the most gung-ho Threads users initially have already dialed it back and found a nice posting frequency – somewhere around a few times a week – and content type – the glossy, beautiful content resorts are best at – which better balances the time put into the platform with the value that comes out.
As numbers grow and headlines evolve from documenting the post-spike days to the “hey, they’re growing again” days, more resorts will sign on or begin to use their accounts. But for now – whether you’ve just snagged your username or are posting regularly or haven’t even downloaded the app – I think it’s business as usual.
Resorts should feel zero pressure about Threads right now. Instead, the pressure is solely and squarely on the shoulders of Meta to turn this into something that’s worth more of your and your team’s time.
It’s a waiting game, and the next move is Meta’s.
Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Comments are old-school, click here to grab a slot on Gregg's calendar and let's chat.
New stories, ideas, and jobs delivered to your inbox every Friday morning.