Meta’s increasingly aggressive push to promote Threads seems to be paying off. Mark Zuckerberg said the app currently has “just under” 100 million monthly active users, and that he thinks there’s a “good chance” the app could reach 1 billion users in the next couple of years.
“I thought for a long time, there should be a billion-person public conversations app that is a bit more positive and I think that if we keep at this for a few more years, then I think we have a good chance of achieving our vision there,” Zuckerberg said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.
Threads’ growth has been closely watched since its July launch. The app saw 100 million sign-ups in its first week, but quickly saw engagement drop off amid complaints about limited functionality and feeds flooded with posts from brands. But Meta has steadily added new features, and engagement seems to have rebounded in recent weeks as Elon Musk makes unpopular changes to X, like stripping headlines from links. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Threads has recently succeeded in attracting former “power users” from X.
Threads’ growth wasn’t the only bright spot for Meta, which reported just over $34 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 23 percent increase from last year. There are now 3.9 billion people who use one of the company’s each month, a new high for the social media company. During a call with analysts, Zuckerberg said that Meta’s recent focus on “efficiency,” which resulted in the company shedding more than 20,000 jobs over the last year, has been an effective strategy that will continue as the company faces “a very volatile world.”
Zuckerberg also shared that Meta would be increasingly focused on generative AI going forward. “We're going to continue deprioritizing a number of non-AI projects across the company to shift people towards working on AI instead,” Zuckerberg said.
Those AI investments, however, won’t come at the expense of new spending on the metaverse. Reality Labs, Meta’s division overseeing its AR and VR spending, continued its multibillion-dollar losing streak. Revenue from Reality Labs sank to just $210 million, with losses climbing to $3.7 billion for the quarter and more than $11 billion since the start of 2023. Meta CFO Susan Li said the losses were expected to accelerate further in the coming year due to “ongoing product development efforts in augmented reality/virtual reality and our investments to further scale our ecosystem.”
Zuckerberg, who has recently attempted to highlight AI advancements within AR and VR, said that the technology has the potential to reshape all of the company’s services. “Generative AI is going to transform meaningfully how people use each of the different apps that we build,” he said.