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Threads turns 1 with 175M active users, so why does it still feel empty?

Published Jul 4th, 2024 8:44AM EDT
Threads, an app by Instagram
Image: José Adorno for BGR

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A year ago, Meta debuted Threads, its response to Elon Musk acquiring and quickly destroying Twitter. As users wanted somewhere new to migrate, mostly because they disagreed with Elon Musk’s decisions for the platform, Mark Zuckerberg took the lead in announcing this new social network that would use Instagram’s user base but focus on writing threads instead of photos.

During this past year, Instagram’s head, Adam Mosseri, assumed the lead with everything related to Threads. He was the face of updates, addressing complaints, and giving tips and tricks. In these 12 months, Threads improved both its web interface and apps, and it feels the hard work has paid off.

While celebrating the platform’s first anniversary, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Thread now has more than 175M monthly active users. However, despite its impressive user base, I still think the platform hasn’t managed to replicate what made Twitter huge.

Post by @zuck
View on Threads

I know it’s pretty much a meme asking if “anyone still uses Threads.” I know you are there, I’m there, and most people are there. But are they engaging with the platform? I don’t think so. While I used to be a very prominent Twitter user, I don’t feel Threads was able to fill the gap left by the other platform.

Even though I thread occasionally, I usually forget about it. I also feel X has most of the accounts I’m interested in following. That said, one reason why Threads looks like an empty party is that most people are talking alone.

You don’t get viral on Threads or start a meme there. Most likely, you’re copying and pasting something from X to the platform. Another interesting comparison is how much Elon Musk posts on X and how little Mark Zuckerberg is on Threads.

At the end of the day, it’s great to have another social media platform, but maybe they’re all dying—or I’m in that phase where all the cool kids have moved to a new place, but I haven’t discovered it yet. Threads might have almost 200 million active users, and it might be a success in some instances, but I feel social media, in general, has lost the sense of community that made us join them so many years ago.

Where do we go next?

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.