July 25, 2024

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Meta’s Threads reaches 175 million users one year after launch

Meta’s Threads reaches 175 million users one year after launch

A year and a half ago, Threads was just a passing idea in Mark Zuckerberg’s eyes.

Now, Elon Musk’s X competitor has reached more than 175 million monthly active users, according to Meta’s CEO. Advertise Wednesday.

As with any social network, and especially for Threads, monthly users only tell part of the growth story. Interestingly, unlike Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram, Meta has yet to share daily user numbers. This omission suggests that Threads still gets a lot of fleeting traffic from people who haven’t yet become regular users.

I’ve heard from Meta employees in recent months that a significant amount of the app’s growth continues to come from promoting it within Instagram. Both apps share the same account system, which isn’t expected to change.

Still, 175 million monthly users for a one-year-old app isn’t much to be upset about, especially given Meta’s patchy track record of launching standalone app experiments over the years. Zuckerberg has been open with me and others that he believes Threads has a real chance of being the company’s next billion-user app. And to keep the growth story going, I’m told, Meta is focusing on markets it sees as an opportunity to grab more market share from X — Japan, for example.

Right now, Threads is still a big loss for Meta financially, though it can certainly afford to fund it indefinitely. Internally, I’ve been told that executives are considering running ads in Threads sometime next year, though the exact plan remains unclear. It’s easy to see how Threads could integrate with Instagram’s existing ad system. And given Meta’s deliberate decision to deprioritize politics and encourage lighter content, it could be a compelling place for advertisers looking for a more brand-safe alternative to X.

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“It would be great if it became really big, but I’m more interested in it becoming culturally significant and attracting hundreds of millions of users,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri told me when Threads first launched. A year later, there’s no doubt that the app has more cultural potential. But the fact that it’s still growing means Meta has the runway to make it happen.