The news: Threads celebrated its one-month birthday on Saturday, but a dropoff in usage since its launch is raising questions about Meta’s ability to grow and monetize the app.
Be smart: Meta doesn’t need Threads to be another 1-billion-plus-user app or a money-making machine. It already has Facebook and Instagram. What Meta needs is an avenue into the cultural zeitgeist—and Threads could be just that.
TikTok, not Twitter/X, is Meta’s biggest threat: TikTok is where most major internet trends now originate. While Reels is already a strong contender to TikTok in terms of usage and advertising, it hasn’t been able to compete on the internet culture front, especially among Gen Zers.
The catch: Gen Zers aren’t sold on Threads or text-based social media, according to our new “US Gen Z social media survey.” And Threads needs buy-in from Gen Z to carve out a place in the center of the internet.
The big picture: The hype around Threads has died down, but Meta still has the time, resources, and execution strategy to build and eventually monetize Threads.
The real test will be whether Meta can turn Threads into a place where trends and culture happen, like Twitter was before TikTok. Meta will have to strike a fine balance between what appeals to Gen Z (read: less text, more video), while still crafting a unique identity beyond Instagram—and without borrowing too much from TikTok.
Go further: For more on Threads vs. TikTok, read our July report “Threads is Here: It’s Already a Twitter Rival—Now Meta Must Keep Users Engaged.”