Despite hitting the ground running with over 100 million users within the first five days of its launch, Threads, the new social media platform by Meta, has seen a steep decline in active user engagement. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, revealed that more than half of the platform’s user base has already exited, shrinking to fewer than half of the initial sign-ups, as reported by Reuters and digital intelligence platform Similarweb.
Though initially seen as a competitor to Twitter, Threads has been unable to match Twitter’s daily active users, which averages over 100 million. At its peak, Threads saw daily use drop from 49 million to 12 million within a span of just two weeks, according to Similarweb data.
Zuckerberg Remains Optimistic
Despite this steep drop, Zuckerberg maintains a positive outlook, describing the drop in users as “normal” and anticipating that the addition of new features to the app will improve retention. His sentiments were echoed by the company’s Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox, who mentioned the focus on adding more “retention-driving hooks” to lure people back to the platform.
New Features to Enhance User Experience
The new features will include separate “following” and “for you” feeds, expanded language translation capabilities for posts, and a more significant integration with Instagram. According to Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, Threads is also working on adding trending topics, hashtags, translation, the ability to view likes, and a “following” feed showing posts from known users.
To use Threads, users must have an Instagram account, a fact that played a significant role in the app’s rapid expansion. The teams at Meta hope that closer integration with Instagram will further encourage usage.
Future Plans for Threads
Zuckerberg and his team are looking into adding trending topics, hashtags, and translation capabilities, as well as a feature to view likes and a ‘following’ feed to show posts from users’ known connections. Furthermore, Meta is also considering enabling a desktop version and improving search functionalities, including hashtag, phrase, and name searches.
In line with Zuckerberg’s vision of creating a “digital town square filled with positivity and connection,” the plan is to enhance Threads with features that encourage positive interaction and dialogue, making the platform a friendlier place for digital communication.
Threads and the Twitter Chaos
Threads’ launch appeared strategically timed to exploit Twitter’s turbulence following the takeover by Elon Musk, who implemented controversial policy changes and temporary viewing limits, leading to a decline in Twitter’s advertising revenue and a surge in user discontent. The recent rebranding of Twitter to X may further affect the platform’s usage, presenting yet another opportunity for Threads. Despite the promise of Threads offering a respite to disgruntled Twitter users, it has thus far struggled to retain users due to the lack of some functionalities like a desktop option and a hashtag search feature.
While the initial launch of Threads was accompanied by a surge in user sign-ups, maintaining this user base has presented challenges for Meta. As the Threads team works hard to enhance the app’s functionalities and attractiveness, the tech world will be watching closely to see if Threads can capitalize on the current turbulence at Twitter and become a viable alternative for disgruntled Twitter users. Whether Threads can overcome its current obstacles and carve a niche in the competitive world of social media remains to be seen.