Image Credits: NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images
Instagram Threads now has more than 130 million monthly active users, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings today. The text-based social networking app is one of the many new projects that have sprung up in the wake of Elon Musk’s 2022 acquisition of Twitter, now called X, where it competes with various startups and open source projects, including Bluesky, Mastodon, Nostr, Post, Spill and others.
Zuckerberg said that Threads is “growing steadily,” though characterized the app as having blown up before Meta was ready.
“I’ll note that Threads now has more people actively using it today than it did during its initial launch peak,” said Zuckerberg. “So that one’s I think on track to be a major success.”
Last quarter, Zuckerberg also spoke highly of Threads, saying he believed the app had a good chance of reaching 1 billion users within a few years. At the time, Threads had north of 100 million monthly active users.
Meta said its family of apps, which also includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, were used by 3.19 billion people daily in the fourth quarter, up from the 3.14 billion it saw in the quarter ending September 2023. Monthly active users were at 3.98 billion, up from 3.96 billion in the prior quarter.
We’ve seen evidence that Threads has been gaining traction in recent weeks. App intelligence provider Appfigures found that the Instagram-owned app had tripled its downloads in December to become the No. 6 most downloaded app in the month across the Apple App Store and Google Play. X, still struggling with its rebranding, was No. 36.
By leveraging Instagram’s friend graph, Threads had a record-breaking launch, reaching 100 million registered users within its first five days last July. But interest in Threads began to taper off in the fall, only returning to growth as Meta gave it a push by promoting Threads’ viral posts to Facebook users. That likely helped the app secure its spot in the top 10 most downloaded apps globally in December.
Zuckerberg’s comments were likely meant to head off concerns that had been raised during Threads’ downturn, which had some critics prematurely declaring it dead. That doesn’t appear to be the case any more — and a third-party tracker says Threads has an estimated 160 million total users.
As for Meta’s earnings, the company saw $40.1 billion in revenue in the quarter ending in December 2023, ahead of analysts’ estimates of $39.18 billion and earnings of $5.33 per share, ahead of estimates of $4.96. Net income was $14.02 billion. Revenue for the full-year 2023 was $134.90 billion.
Meta also announced its first cash dividend of $0.50 per share, which will be paid in March to Meta’s shareholders.