Is Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to challenge Elon Musk in the social media wars already failing? That’s the story the latest numbers are telling as “Threads,” an Instagram-adjacent app that essentially mimics Twitter, has seen a massive drop in active users.

In early July, when Threads first dropped, many leftwing users of Twitter vowed to switch to the new app as a sort of safe space from the largely unregulated free speech of Musk’s platform. Just weeks later, though, that dream appears to be dying on the vine.

When Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta released Threads earlier this month, it looked to be the biggest threat to Twitter in the app’s 17-year history. Over 100 million people signed up within days, a lightning-fast adoption rate that made ChatGPT’s four-week timescale to hit the same milestone seem sluggish. But that threat now appears to be rapidly tailing off.

The number of daily active users on the text-based social media app has more than halved from 49 million to 23.6 million in a week, according to an analysis by Similarweb. Last Friday, the number of people using Threads dipped to around 22 per cent of Twitter’s audience, down from its peak a week before of 45 per cent. Is Zuck in danger of losing his fight with Twitter’s owner Elon Musk already?

The drop in users for Threads is stunning. Initially, over 100 million people signed up to use the site, many of those using the cross-user functionality of Instagram. It didn’t take long for that number to become irrelevant, though, with Zuckerberg’s venture recently clocking in at only 22 percent of Twitter’s usage. There’s no reason to expect that trend to reverse.

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Upon launching, Threads was also immediately hit with claims of censorship, even by its left-wing user base that found the restrictions to be too, well, restrictive. I don’t think that’s the biggest problem for the site, though.

Here’s the reality that many people, both right and left, don’t want to admit. Echo chambers are boring. Even on RedState, I enjoy that people go at it in the comments (hopefully, somewhat peacefully) with differing viewpoints and that even contributors themselves often disagree. Whenever people try to isolate themselves among only completely like-minded individuals, the result is underwhelming.

Truth Social is a good example. Whatever one thinks of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate, his social media platform isn’t even a blip on the radar compared to Twitter’s total usage. That’s because it offers nothing of value to anyone who desires vibrant debate. Threads is following the same path with its mostly far-left user base all parroting the same positions.

Twitter’s contrast to that echo chamber effect is why it’s far more successful. Yes, it can be messy at times. Yes, there are some less-than-ideal people on the site, to say the least. But it offers a real town square experience where a random Republican can find themselves interacting with a major Democrat politician. And who doesn’t enjoy ratioing the President of the United States from time to time?

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