What Happened to Threads?
A month ago, Threads was the internet’s shiny new object. Now Meta’s social sharing app is an endangered species.
According to the market intelligence company Sensor Tower, Meta’s clone of Twitter (now known as X) concluded July with 8 million daily active users. This represents a significant decline of approximately 82 percent from its zenith of 44 million daily active users, which occurred just days after Threads was launched, as reported by Sensor Tower. And recently Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked with Meta employees about Threads’ sagging user engagement. Reportedly, he admitted the app lost over half its users since its launch.
This is quite a dramatic turnaround for an app that became the fastest growing app in history after being launched in early July.
So, why are people not using Threads? Reasons include:
- The app still lacks features that users expect on similar apps such as X. Recently Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said that his team would add what he called “obvious missing features” to the app, such as tools to edit posts and a feed that allows users to see content just from accounts they follow. (Threads is an extension of a user’s Instagram accounts.) Since then, Threads has added a following tab on its feed and other features, Threads programmer Cameron Roth wrote in a Threads post. And reportedly more features are on the way.
- Social app saturation has taken hold. Threads is one more app that brands and people need to manage on top of X, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and more. Joining the app is easy through your Instagram account. But actually taking time to post content is a laborious process without easy desktop functionality and integration with social platforms. On top of that, Threads really does not stand apart as having a distinct experience. If an X user has accumulated a large following there, they have little motivation to post on to Threads the same content they published on X already.
That said, Threads is far from dead. Mark Zuckerberg recently said that Threads will continue to add features that Threads badly needs. For instance, Meta CEO search and web features will be “coming in the next few weeks.” This is crucial. According to what advertisers and creators communicated to CNBC, for Threads to evolve into a vital service, it must include functionalities that simplify the searching process for trending subjects and the retrieval of past posts. The ability to access Threads via the web is especially crucial if Meta intends to genuinely rival X, a platform that has enjoyed longstanding popularity among desktop users, particularly in the workplace.
It’s also only a matter of time before Meta introduces advertising features to Threads. But first, Threads needs to demonstrate that it can build off its initial success by keeping users engaged. For now, we suggest that brands keep an eye out for features that will make Threads easier to use. If you have the bandwidth on your social media team, experiment with Threads once it becomes easier to use. We are still a long way from taking Threads seriously as an advertising platform.