Categories: Technology
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2023-12-05 8:21 AM

Social Media Showdown: Threads Triumphs Over X in Global Surge, Posing Challenges for the Industry Giant

  • Threads outpaces X in daily downloads, with a recent surge attributed to strategic Meta advertising efforts.
  • Threads' total new downloads stand at 41 million, surpassing X's 27 million since September.
  • India plays a significant role in Threads' success, accounting for 11.2% or 9.2 million of the total downloads.
By Lethabo Ntsoane

Recent data analysis reveals a noteworthy shift in the social media landscape as Instagram Threads, Meta’s alternative to Twitter, has outpaced X (formerly Twitter) in terms of new downloads. This surge is attributed to Meta’s strategic advertising efforts and has positioned Threads as a contender in the competitive world of social networking.

Rising Downloads for Instagram Threads

According to app intelligence firm Apptopia, Instagram Threads has experienced a surge in daily downloads, reaching 620,000 from around 350,000 in early November. This upward trend is a reversal from the decline observed since September. The total new downloads for Threads stand at an impressive 41 million, outpacing X’s 27 million over the same period.

Global Trends in Social Media Adoption

The data indicates that Threads’ recent success is not confined to the U.S., with the majority of new downloads coming from India, accounting for 11.2% or 9.2 million of the total. The U.S. follows with 7.4% of downloads. This trend aligns with India’s significant role as a growth driver for Instagram overall.

Table 1: New Downloads Breakdown

RegionThreads Downloads (%)
India11.2% (9.2 million)
U.S.7.4% (6.1 million)

Challenges Faced by X after Rebranding

X, formerly Twitter, has undergone a rebranding process that has seemingly impacted its download numbers. The rebranding, which includes the name change and the introduction of the app Twitter Lite for emerging markets, has led to a loss of momentum in growth. Apptopia suggests that users may be searching for the app under its former name, “Twitter,” contributing to the decline in new downloads.

X’s Global Performance and User Base

Despite the challenges, X remains a formidable platform with over 500 million monthly active users. In contrast, Threads reported just under 100 million users as of Meta’s most recent earnings in October. An independent tracker indicates Threads’ user base grew to 141 million as of November 10.

Advertiser Exodus Impacts X’s Future

X is facing an uncertain future due to an advertiser exodus triggered by controversial statements made by owner Elon Musk. Major brands, including Apple, IBM, Disney, Paramount, Comcast/NBCU, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Sony, and more recently, Paris Hilton’s 11:11 Media and Walmart, have pulled their campaigns from the platform.

X’s Position as a News Platform and Threads’ Unique Features

X continues to be a primary platform for breaking news, as demonstrated by its role in the recent OpenAI boardroom drama. In contrast, Instagram Threads positions itself as a less real-time competitor to X and refrains from amplifying news. Threads also adopts safety measures, with non-chronological search results to prevent potential abuse by spammers and bad actors.


The current dynamics in social media usage highlight the evolving preferences of users, with Threads gaining traction globally and X facing challenges amidst a rebranding process and advertiser exodus. As the competition intensifies, the landscape of social networking platforms is sure to witness further shifts, impacting user engagement and industry dynamics.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo