In the wake of more Twitter chaos, Meta launched its rival to Twitter tonight. If “Threads” gives you déjà vu, you’re not alone. In 2019, Facebook developed an Instagram messaging app by the same name but shuttered it less than 2 years later. While credit should be given to Meta’s steadfast test and learn strategy, the company doesn’t exactly have a successful track record sustaining new standalone apps outside its core family. Apps including Slingshot, Paper, Rooms, and IGTV all failed to gain traction. But will Threads hit different?
There’s Already A Crowd On The Other Side Of Threads’ Window Of Opportunity
Meta’s new ‘Twitter-like’ Threads marks yet another copycat move by the company. But this launch is different than the company’s previous attempts at competitive clones. Unlike TikTok (when Meta launched Reels) or Snapchat (when Meta launched Slingshot), Twitter’s in a state decline. Meta is banking on a moment in time where there’s peak Twitter user unrest.
The problem? The market is already flooded with Twitter alternatives including Bluesky, Mastodon, Post.News, and Hive – each of which are all competing for Twitter’s market share. This means that the cohort of users looking to replace Twitter becomes divvied up across the growing ecosystem of rival Twitter apps. A fractured user base dilutes the value of any one app alternative. But Threads has a plan to mitigate that.
Interoperability Will “Thread” Together Other App’s Users
During a time where Twitter is becoming more closed, Threads plans to be open – quite open. “Soon” Threads will hook into the W3C’s open social networking protocol ActivityPub so that connections can happen with compatible apps like Mastodon. Plus, over time, as we’ve seen in the past from other apps and streaming services, consolidation in the market will happen. But can Meta’s Threads come out on top of the pack?
Social Media App Fatigue Is A Threat To Threads
From noon to 8pm ET today, Forrester conducted a quick “pulse check” poll* of 427 adults in its ConsumerVoices Market Research Online Community (MROC) across the US, Canada, and the UK to gauge user intent regarding Threads. 34% of responses indicated they’re NOT planning to join threads because they don’t want yet another social media app to use. Other results indicate that:
- 6% plan to join Threads as soon as possible.
- 17% plan to join Threads but will wait a bit until after its initial rollout.
- 14% are NOT planning to join Threads because they’re concerned about Meta’s use of their personal data/data privacy.
- 12% are NOT planning to join Threads because they’re satisfied using Twitter.
- 1% are NOT planning to join Threads because I’m already using a Twitter alternative app
- 16% are NOT planning to join Threads because they don’t use social media.
*Note: This poll was administered to a random sample of 427 online consumers in the US, UK, and Canada in Forrester’s qualitative ConsumerVoices online community. This data is not weighted to be representative of total country populations.
Forrester clients: Let’s chat more about this via a Forrester guidance session.