A new analyst report disclosed this challenge on the part of Meta, finding that Threads ranks only above Tumblr when it comes to user acquisition. Known as the birthplace of social justice warrior (SJW) culture that eventually turned into wokeism, Tumblr was established in 2006. After a string of acquisitions by Yahoo, Oath and Verizon Media, it went under the wing of Automattic – the company behind blogging platform WordPress.
Per the recent forecast issued by market research firm Insider Intelligence, Threads is set to have a total of 23.7 million American users in 2023. Meanwhile, X is predicted to have 56.1 million anticipated American users in 2023.
Even when compared to other platforms under Meta, Threads appears to be in a precarious situation. Facebook has 177.9 million U.S. users, while Instagram follows at 135.2 million. This means that Facebook has almost eight times and Instagram almost six times the projected number of total Threads users in the United States.
Threads appeared poised to be a formidable player in the social media landscape when it was launched in July, according to CNBC. This initial surge in the platform's user base can be attributed to its integration with Instagram. Its positioning as an alternative to X also served as a factor, as personalities disgruntled with owner Elon Musk's approach jumped over to the Zuckerberg-owned platform.
"Threads received an initial boost from Twitter's missteps, but it can't rely on X defectors to continue to grow," said Jasmine Enberg, a principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. She insinuated that Threads ought to carve out its unique identity in the already crowded social media market, instead of merely serving as either an extension of Instagram or an alternative to X.
According to Enberg, there is an opportunity for Threads to monetize itself and overrun its rival. Musk has floated the idea of X users paying a monthly subscription to use the platform.
"Assuming Musk doesn't backtrack, the move will likely alienate more X users and potentially increase advertiser interest in Threads," she said. However, Zuckerberg has emphasized that Meta has no plans to monetize Threads until it achieves greater growth and establishment.
In reality, Meta does have plans to monetize Threads – but not in the manner people would think. Instead of attracting advertisers to run ads on the platform, it plans to sell user data to them. Fox News Digital reporter Michael Schellenberger issued this warning, adding that Threads has "near-zero privacy."
"Zuckerberg says he's not thinking about monetization of users on his Twitter clone Threads, but that's a lie," he said. "His business model is selling our data to advertisers."
The reporter also took issue with the Meta CEO's claim that Threads is a "free and open platform" – as it is far from true. "Right away, there were users that showed that they have been censored," Schellenberger recounted. "When I tried to follow those people, I found out they indeed had been censored." (Related: New app, same old story: Meta's Threads accused of mass censorship and data harvesting.)
"This is secretive censorship, and there is no right of appeal. There is no way for anyone who is being censored on those platforms to make their case and try to get off the blacklists."
According to Schellenberger, one person had even sued Meta after being censored for expressing "election skepticism." He continued: "I myself don't agree with that man on everything, but that's the whole point of free speech. It's for everybody, not just the people we agree with."
Visit BigTech.news for more stories about Threads and other social media platforms.
Watch Paul Joseph Watson of Summit News discussing how Threads is deleting entire posts and harvesting user data below.
This video is from the NZ Will Remember channel on Brighteon.com.