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Instagram Threads sees resurgence in popularity as app downloads rise while X downloads decrease

Threads by Instagram, the Meta-owned social networking app that has become a direct competitor to X (formerly Twitter), made a surprising return in December 2023. Ranking fourth in downloads on the iOS App Store and eighth on the Google Play store — averaging 28 million downloads across both platforms — this surge in interest suggests a potential turning point for the app following its lukewarm July 2023 launch.As reported by PC Mag, Threads hadn’t cracked the top ten download lists on Appfigures since August, and some were beginning to question the app’s long-term viability. However, users appear to be responding well to the newly introduced and improved sharing and discovery options, as well as other new features. In addition, Instagram began advertising Threads content on its own network, potentially encouraging the onboarding of more members.

What’s going on with X/Twitter?

This renewed interest contrasts with how Elon Musk’s X (the app formerly known as Twitter) has performed. Although there are approximately 540 million users on X as of July 2023, growth has slowed under Musk’s leadership. The app data company 42Matters noticed a decrease in X downloads between November 2022 and October 2023, which could imply a drop in user interest. Furthermore, X’s download ranking in December was only 36th, but to be fair, the app has been around since 2006 and most users might already have the app downloaded already.

In terms of active users, X remains in the lead. Data.ai’s 2023 app activity analysis rated X in the top ten, while Threads didn’t even make it to the list. This suggests that, while Threads is attracting new members, the level of involvement there may not be as great as X’s present user base.Although Threads’ recent growth is encouraging, it is unknown whether the app will be able to sustain its momentum and convert app downloads into daily active users, which is the true test of success. While it has added many user-requested features since its launch, it still has more work to do before it can pull away daily active X users.

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