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New Report Highlights Threads Q3 Rise and Broader App Download and Usage Trends

This is no surprise, but the chart below probably isn’t going to make Elon and Co. overly happy.

data.ai Q3 update

As per data.ai’s latest “Market Pulse Rankings” report for Q3 2023, Meta’s Twitter clone “Threads” was the most downloaded app, rushing to the top of the standings for the period.

Which, again, is no surprise. Using Instagram as a vehicle to raise awareness of the app, Meta made ease of sign-up a key focus, after many people had shared their frustrations in trying create an account on another Twitter alternative, in Mastodon.

The simplified profile creation process, paired with Meta’s massive established network, saw Threads become the most downloaded app of all time in its early going, reaching 100 million profiles created in just five days.

And it went even further than that.

As per data.ai:

Threads, the new microblogging social app launched by Meta at the start of Q3, skyrocketed up the charts and reached 150 million downloads faster than any other app in history. This was enough to propel it to the top spot by overall downloads in the quarter with 236 million, just ahead of TikTok’s 229 million downloads in the quarter. While this was an impressive feat out the gate, 80% (191.5 million) of these downloads came in July, the first month of its launch. This was due in large part to Threads relying on Instagram’s large base of users to port over easily. By comparison, August and September saw 25 million and 19.5 million downloads, respectively.

As data.ai notes, Threads’ growth has slowed significantly since that early burst. Though over the past two weeks, it has seemingly re-gained some of its early momentum, with more X users migrating to Threads due to changes in the way that links are displayed within X posts, and concerns around the rise of misinformation related to the Israel-Hamas war.

Indeed, many long-term X users say that the app is no longer as useful for following trending content, due to its increasing focus on paying users, and its new moderation rules.

Which has seen many switch to Threads instead, while Elon’s hostility towards “mainstream media” outlets and journalists is also pushing many of them, who had once been among Twitter’s more active users, over to the Meta alternative.

But the data in this report only covers between July and September, so we don’t have more recent insight. Last week, data.ai did also report that Threads downloads have seen a big uptick in October, which has seen the app rise from #40 to #20 on the overall download charts. But that still points to a significant change after this reporting period.

It’s also worth noting the variance between “downloads” and “users” here.

In total, the figures above indicate that Threads was downloaded more than 280 million times in Q3, but that doesn’t mean that Threads has 280 million users. Some of them would be downloads on other devices, owned by a single person, while some would be users who’ve checked it out, then haven’t re-opened the app since.

Meta hasn’t provided specific data on Threads’ active usage as yet, but according to data.ai’s insight, Threads currently has 135 million global monthly active users. Based on industry averages, that would suggest that, right now, Threads has around 78 million daily actives. Which, despite it losing that early notoriety, is still a big audience, and that’s without EU users (who still can’t access the app).  

So while Threads has lost a lot of its early momentum, there is reason for Meta to be enthused about its potential, particularly as X continues to make divisive changes and tweaks.

The report also looks at broader app usage trends, including the steady increase in time spent in apps, particularly in the APAC region.

data.ai Q3 update

Three of the markets to surpass the five-hours-per-day threshold in Q3 2023 are in APAC. Indonesia led the way with more than six hours per day, followed by Thailand (5.7 hours) and India (5.2 hours). Latin America may also have three markets above this threshold soon. Argentina and Brazil are already well above the five hours per day mark, and Mexico fell just below this threshold at 4.98 hours.”

You can see, then, why apps are seeing such significant growth in Asian and LATAM markets, which will eventually drive more opportunity, though developing regions are still a way behind in terms of revenue per user.

There’s a heap more insight in data.ai’s full report including in-app spend data, games, breakout trends, and more.

You can download the full data.ai “Market Pulse Report” for Q3 here (with email sign-up).

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