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India Leads Downloads of Meta's Threads, Signaling Strong User Base in Emerging Economies

Updated: Jan 8

Threads, Meta's new social media platform, gained significant traction with over 100 million users within a week of its launch, with India accounting for a quarter of all downloads.

Credit: Reuters

The platform's success in emerging economies highlights a contrast to Twitter's user base, primarily centered in developed countries.

Threads, Meta's latest social media platform, achieved remarkable success shortly after its launch, accumulating over 100 million users between July 6 and July 11. An analysis conducted with support from Sensor Tower reveals that India took the largest share at 27.1%, surpassing the United States, which ranked second with 13.6%.

Brazil, Mexico and Japan secured spots in the top five, accounting for 13.3%, 4.8% and 3.7% of the global downloads, respectively. The dominance of emerging economies, including Indonesia and Egypt, in the top 10 accounted for 55% of all downloads.

This ranking can be attributed to Threads' requirement of an Instagram account, which is owned by Meta. India, the U.S. and Brazil are the leading markets for Instagram, boasting a user base of over 2 billion people.

In contrast, Twitter's user base predominantly resides in developed countries. As of 2022, the U.S. held the top position with a 17.6% share, followed by Japan at 13.5%. However, emerging economies constituted only 27% of Twitter's total user base, despite featuring seven countries in the top 10.

Following the Threads launch, Similarweb, an internet traffic analysis company, reported a decline in daily site visits to Twitter by up to 5% compared to the previous week, suggesting a migration of users to the new platform.

Threads faces competition from various platforms aiming to attract Twitter users, including Mastodon, created in 2016 by a German programmer; Donald Trump's Truth Social platform; and Bluesky, spearheaded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey since February.

Download spikes for these rival apps often coincide with periods of turmoil for Twitter. Mastodon and Truth Social witnessed a twentyfold surge in October following Elon Musk's workforce reduction at Twitter, which raised concerns about the platform's stability.

In June and July, downloads for all three rival apps experienced double-digit growth as Twitter imposed temporary restrictions on users. Bluesky generated buzz by limiting registrations to invite codes, surpassing 1 million users in July.

Threads captured attention early on, with notable celebrities and prominent companies posting on the platform. It has garnered significantly more cumulative downloads compared to other Twitter competitors.

Social media expert Satoshi Kitamura, a communications studies professor at Tokyo Keizai University, believes that if Threads attracts more influential users, it will have an easier time attracting people. However, the integration of Threads with Instagram may discourage anonymous Twitter users seeking to maintain a separate presence.

  • India accounted for 27.1% of Threads' downloads, outpacing the United States at 13.6%.

  • Emerging economies represented 55% of all Threads downloads.

  • Threads' association with Instagram appeals to its success in India, the U.S. and Brazil, the top three markets for Instagram.

Source: Nikkei Asia

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