Both Twitter and Threads—two of the most popular social media platforms of the moment—are facings severely crippling issues.
- Twitter’s advertising revenue has decreased nearly by half since it was purchased in October, partly due to advertisers fearing that the website is failing to make significant progress in addressing the site’s ongoing issues.
- New CEO Linda Yaccarino has attempted to sell Twitter to advertisers with a “freedom of speech, not reach” that downplays reports of increased “hate speech” content on the platform.
- Yaccarino also disparaged reports from Media Matters about the increase in hate speech as “incorrect, misleading, and outdated.”
- Threads, the “Twitter-Killer” app created by Meta Platforms, is also facing its own problems, with a 70% decline in engagement since July 7, according to analytics tracker Sensor Tower.
Why It’s Important
When billionaire Elon Musk purchased Twitter last October, he did so with intentions of reinventing the struggling social media network into a hub of free speech, video sharing, and financial technology. In the time since, the website has become controversial as a playpen for Musk to alienate users, fire staffers, and pick fights with politicians.
“We’re still negative cash flow due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load. Need to reach positive cash flow before we have the luxury of anything else,” tweeted Musk on July 15.
Threads was Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to capitalize on the decline of Twitter and briefly succeeded. Threads became the fastest-growing app in history, drawing 100 million sign-ups in five days. Unfortunately, the app has already lost momentum in its race to destroy Twitter. It has made historic gains, but declining revenue, novelty, and interest could kill the app’s ambitions before it gets off the ground.
Meta Platform’s executives have said that they anticipated a drop in users after the initial release and are attempting to rapidly expand the app’s features and usability to withhold a core user base that can turn it into a sustaining rival to Twitter. The app’s future and profitability are dependent on sustaining user engagement in the long term.