Threads Surpasses X in Downloads, Tests an In-App Camera

Users appear to prefer Meta Platforms’ Threads to Elon Musk’s social platform X, based on the disparity between the number of downloads, which is widening. Globally, Meta’s Instagram spinoff — which has many of the same features as the app formerly known as Twitter — has recently been seeing three times as many daily downloads as X on iOS devices, and more than twice as many from the Google Play app store for Android. The analysis is from intelligence firm Appfigures, which this week lists Threads as No. 2 among all free app downloads, and X at No. 40. As Threads introduces new features, it is also testing a new in-app camera.

Threads is sandwiched on the Appfigures chart by China’s Temu — which invites users to “shop like a billionaire” — at No. 1, ChatGPT from OpenAI at No.3, and TikTok, also owned by a Chinese company, in the No. 4 slot among free downloads.

“Although an app’s downloads aren’t an exact proxy for usage, they can hint at where the market is headed, and in the case of the alt-Twitter wars, the app winning the game right now is Instagram’s Threads,” writes TechCrunch.

Threads broke the record for app downloads by adding 100 million users in five days when it debuted as an Instagram offshoot in July 2023. Since then, “downloads would often spike and drop as parent company Meta tried various strategies,” TechCrunch explains, noting booms would often be followed by falls to parity with X installs.

Among the Threads updates in progress, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said this week that Threads is testing an in-app camera. The test, available to what PetaPixel calls “a small number of people,” includes the ability to save drafts to post later.

“The in-app camera opens the user’s smartphone camera from within Threads itself, so that users can more easily share photos and videos from their device,” PetaPixel explains.

“Testing more of your most requested features with a small number of people,” Mosseri announced last week on Threads, adding that they are also “testing the ability to save a draft to Threads by swiping down on your post, as well as a native camera that opens directly in the composer.”

The same day, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a mountain landscape photo taken with “the new camera we’re testing in Threads.”

Meta is also experimenting with making it easier for users to cross-post Facebook entries to Threads. “As it stands, some users can share text and link posts from Facebook to Threads,” Engadget reports, adding the changes under consideration “could eventually make it easier for heavy Facebook users and/or content creators to share their thoughts, videos and photos on Threads without much more effort.”

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