Meta-owned Threads is continuing its explosive launch, as new data suggests the social media app has already grown to one-fifth of the weekly active user base of its competitor Twitter – but will the momentum last?

On 6 July, Mark Zuckerberg's Meta surprised the internet with the sudden launch of its text-based social media app Threads.

The app blitzed past a colossal 100 million signups in just five days, and surpassed 150 million global downloads within seven days of launch – 5.5 times faster than 2016's viral gaming app Pokémon GO.

“Threads attracting nearly 100 million [weekly active users] WAU during this early period is unprecedented,” said app intelligence firm

“That means it already had about a fifth of the weekly active user base of Twitter worldwide.”

But while Meta's foray into microblogging has been wildly successful, social media experts are questioning whether Threads will keep pace or simply fizzle out in the shadow of rival platform Twitter.

“Threads is really the current shiny object that most people are obsessing over right now,” social media strategist and consultant Nola Mutogo told Information Age.

“With everything that has been happening with Twitter lately people are hungry for an alternative and Meta has stepped in to fill that void.”

Thread's launch seemed to capitalise on ongoing turmoil at Twitter, arriving amid backlash for the rival platform's surge in hate speech, introduction of paid subscriptions and controversial changes under the ownership of Elon Musk.

And while the opportunistic launch of Threads drove record-breaking traction for the platform, the current state of the app is bare-bones, lacking many of the features available on its long-established rival.

“Threads is still in its early stages and there are a few features that are still getting improved such as search, hashtags and other features to improve overall user experience,” said Mutogo.

“I think time will tell especially as the app is still being built out and refined.”

Cherie Clonan, Founder of digital agency the Digital Picnic told Information Age the app was “great news for the Twitter-faithful who've felt alienated by the ‘Elon era’ on Twitter”, but also suggested it was too soon to determine Thread's future.

“Remember Clubhouse? Yik Yak? Artifact? Exactly!” said Clonan.

“While we're loving Threads so far, we're always guiding business owners to invest their time carefully.

“Today's smash hit could be tomorrow's MySpace.”

According to a new Android-based report from data company Similarweb, Threads experienced a notable drop in daily active users (DAU) – down from 49 million to 23.6 million on Android in a week.

This period also saw less US engagement time on the app, from 21 minutes on 7 July down to about 6 minutes on 14 July.

While these metrics may indicate a plateau, Threads is currently not available in the EU due to regulatory concerns surrounding its data handling practices.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk says Twitter is still struggling to break out of negative cashflow, with ad revenue dropping a purported 50 per cent amid a heavy debt load.

Founder of social media marketing agency SZN Social, Nat Welfare, told Information Age she was confident in Thread's potential.

“It's offering a less content-intensive way for people and brands to connect online – something people have been longing for since video-first content became the norm,” said Welfare.

When asked whether Threads could overtake Twitter, Welfare said it would depend on “some of the choices Twitter makes from here”.

“They've decided to take the path of most resistance for their users recently, as well as acting against a large subset of their audience’s values and beliefs by allowing more hate speech and extremist individuals back onto the platform,” said Welfare.

“Many of those people will be early adopters of Threads. So it's definitely possible Threads could usurp Twitter if they invest in it in the right ways.”

According to tracker estimates, Threads is sitting at 114 million user accounts at the time of writing.