June 16, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

Serving technology better

Meta’s Threads climbs the ranks of world’s most downloaded apps again

3 min read
Meta's Threads climbs the ranks of world's most downloaded apps again

Threads logo on phone

Anadolu/Contributor/Getty Images

In the wake of a shaky half year that saw dwindling popularity, Meta’s Threads app finished 2023 on a high note. Looking at the top downloads for December of last year, Appfigures found that Threads was the sixth most downloaded app across the world.

In Apple’s App Store, Threads took fourth place with 12 million downloads. Over at Google Play, the app ranked lower, nestling in at eighth place but scoring more downloads at 28 million.

Also: 5 things to know about Meta’s Threads app before you entangle your Instagram account

Introduced last July by Facebook and Instagram owner Meta, Threads quickly broke the record as the most downloaded app ever, snagging more than 100 million users in less than a week. But from there, it all went downhill.

Following that initial surge, users started to jump ship. After a peak of 49.3 million daily users on July 7, the numbers plummeted by 79% to 10.3 million as of Aug. 7, based on data from web analytics firm Similarweb.

In the months that followed, Meta made a concerted effort to improve and enhance Threads, adding much-needed features such as full website access, a Following feed, keyword searching, and hashtags.

The rollout of new features may have helped convince more people to try the app. But December was an especially good month for Threads, as daily downloads almost tripled, Appfigures founder and CEO Ariel Michaeli said in the latest report.

Also: What is BeReal? Everything to know about this unfiltered social media app

Investigating Threads’ recent rise in the rankings, Michaeli said that this was clearly a holiday special as the number of downloads ramped up in December but then went down. However, downloads of the Threads app so far in January are a bit higher than they were in November, so maybe the holiday boost has had some staying power.

And what about other popular apps? Meta’s Instagram took the top spot as the most downloaded app last month. Grabbing more than 54 million downloads across the App Store and Google Play, Instagram raced past TikTok — which came in second with 47 million total downloads — for first place. 

The most downloaded apps in December 2023


But Instagram and TikTok differed in where the downloads came from. Instagram snagged 80% of its downloads from Google Play and only 20% in the App Store. TikTok was more balanced, with 60% from Google Play and 40% from the App Store, a sign that TikTok is more in demand, according to Michaeli.

Also: How to go live on TikTok (and how it can earn you real money)

In third and fourth place, respectively, were Facebook and Meta’s WhatsApp, for which Appfigures cited Facebook’s brand and the popularity of WhatsApp outside the US. And in the fifth spot was CapCut, a mobile video editor that has gradually been sneaking up the ranks. Rounding out the global top ten were Temu, Telegram, Snapchat, and Spotify.

And what of that other social network, namely X, aka Twitter? Here, the news isn’t so good. For December, the number of downloads for the X mobile app dropped to 8.9 million, placing it at #36 among the rankings.

Beyond rising up the ranks for downloads, Threads also saw an end-of-year resurgence in the number of actual users.

From last November to December, the number of monthly active Threads users on both iOS and Android rose by 5.9% in the US, according to web analytics firm Similarweb. Over the same period, the number of daily active users on Android jumped by 37.8% worldwide. Although those numbers are still much lower than they were during the initial July rollout, they do show Threads trying to bounce back in recent months.

As for X, Similarweb’s numbers show a downturn throughout 2023.

The number of monthly active X users on both iOS and Android in the US dwindled from 89 million last January to 78 million in December. The number of daily active users on Android worldwide fell from 116 million last January to 94 million in December. In a blog post from November, Similarweb senior insights manager David Carr discussed the impact on X usage in light of owner Elon Musk’s perceived anti-semitic remarks and offensive comments toward departing advertisers.

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