Will Threads overtake X in daily active users by the end of 2024?

[This is Casey's high-confidence prediction from the 12/22/23 episode of Hard Fork]

Will Instagram Threads overtake X in daily active users by the end of 2024? Market will resolve to yes if both companies report daily usage metrics that show that Threads daily usage is higher than X daily usage. (In the absence of audited public disclosures by the companies, credible third-party estimates, such as Comscore or Quantcast measurements, will also be considered valid).

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Anyone actually believe this?

Musk claims new all-time high in usage while X employee discloses 150 million bot purge:

That’s up from 130 million monthly active users in February. X last claimed 250 million daily active users in March.

“X (formerly Twitter) could be facing a ban in Brazil, after Elon Musk’s latest decision to defy a court order to block “certain popular accounts in Brazil”


“The number of people using X daily is falling, more than a year after tech billionaire Elon Musk bought the app formerly known as Twitter. 

“Data from two research firms and figures published by Musk and X suggest a deteriorating situation for X by some metrics. Musk has marketed it as the world’s “town square,” but in number of users it continues to lag far behind social media rivals that focus on video, such as Instagram and TikTok. 

“In February, X had 27 million daily active users of its mobile app in the U.S., down 18% from a year earlier, according to Sensor Tower, a market intelligence firm based in San Francisco. The U.S. user base has been flat or down every month since November 2022, the first full month of Musk’s owning the app, and in total it’s down 23% since then, Sensor Tower said. “


“The data, which is part of a larger study conducted by Edison, said 27% of the total population in the U.S. reported using X in 2022 and 2023, a figure that has decreased to 19% in 2024.

“The data is a measure of people who said they were using the service, not a measure of premium X subscribers or accounts, Edison noted.

“Edison said the social media platform also experienced declines in monthly and weekly usage, but didn’t provide details about such data.”


“X has a bot problem unlike anything else seen on competing platforms

“When X's Super Bowl traffic is compared to other social media platforms during the same time period, the bot issue on Musk's platform appears even more stark. CHEQ also provided data to Mashable pertaining to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. In terms of fake traffic, no other platform came close to X's nearly 76 percent.

“Out of more than 40 million visits from TikTok, only 2.56 percent were determined to be fake. Facebook sent 8.1 million visits and 2.01 percent of the monitored visits were classified as inauthentic. And over on Instagram, only 0.73 percent of the 68,700 visits from the platform were fake.”

predicts YES
predicts YES

X’s Latest Traffic Numbers Show a Decline in Average Time Spent per User

“First off, in terms of total user seconds, X’s average over the last week is 360.7 billion seconds per day. That’s the whole time that users spent in the app, which, on the face of it, is an incredible amount of time.

“But breaking that down, 360.7 billion user seconds equates to 6.01b total minutes per day. X claims to have 253 million daily users at last check, so if you divide the total minutes by total users, that’s an average of 23.8 minutes per day spent, per user, in the app every day.

“Which is not close to what X reported back in October, when it said that users were spending an average of 32 minutes per day in the app, and lower than what the former Twitter team was reportedly seeing, at 30 minutes per day per user. So while the topline numbers look impressive, at many billions of seconds, the actual time spent per user is seemingly declining, not increasing, as Musk claims.

“Though if average user seconds are increasing, then conversely, the total number of users must be in decline. X may be right in reporting that users are spending 32 minutes per day in the app, but for that to be true, that would mean that X is now only serving 185 million users per day, a drop of 68 million users.

So either X is seeing less usage per user than it claims, or it’s serving fewer users overall.”


predicts NO

This is really a question of "what is the chance Elon does something so awful the entire user base leaves?" And I don't think that's likely

Does an overtake that lasts one day count?

@asmith I don’t think we have data with a daily granularity. X is private, so their data only comes from Elon’s mouth.

Meta might only report these numbers to brag or for their earnings reports. Like in this article, all of the data comes from “data firms” sharing their data with Gizmodo.

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