Facebook’s parent body, Meta is looking to launch a desktop version of its newest social media platform, Threads. This is coming after the company’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, confirmed that the Twitter rival app experienced a more than 50% decline in users following its launch.
Surpassing ChatGPT as the fastest-growing app, Threads garnered over 100 million users within its first month. However, the app is now struggling to retain its user base. Although these numbers were way better than executives had expected, Zuckerberg acknowledged that it was still not perfect.
During an internal company town hall, he described the drop-off as ‘normal’ and expressed optimism that retention would improve with the addition of more features, such as a desktop version and search functionality.
According to Mark Zuckerberg’s speech cited by Reuters, he said,
Obviously, if you have more than 100 million people sign up, ideally it would be awesome if all of them or even half of them stuck around. We’re not there yet.
Chief Product Officer, Chris Cox said Meta is planning to incorporate additional ‘retention-driving hooks’ to attract users back to the app. One of the strategies being considered to keep user retention is ensuring that people using the Instagram app can access important Threads, a move aimed at increasing user engagement.
Also, Meta’s impressive revenue growth forecast has reassured investors and signified a potential comeback for the company. CEO Mark Zuckerberg further expressed his belief that the company’s progress in developing augmented and virtual reality technology for the metaverse is on track, though he mentioned it is not massively ahead of schedule.
Threads not ready to compete with X (formerly Twitter) yet
With the recent turmoil on Twitter due to Elon Musk’s (mis)administration, there has been a growing demand for a fresh microblogging platform. Among the contenders, Meta’s Thread has emerged as a promising option. However, it still faces significant challenges ahead.
Despite garnering more attention than other Twitter alternatives like the open-source Mastodon or the still-beta Bluesky, Threads has yet to establish a consistent user base. One advantage it has, however, is its association with Meta’s Instagram.
This integration proves crucial, considering Instagram alone boasts over 500 million daily active users. However, the Threads app struggles to retain its users regularly, even with this connection.
Positioned as a gentler and safer alternative to Twitter, Threads arrived at a time when Twitter was implementing stringent rules and restrictions, compelling users to seek alternatives. Despite this opportunity, Threads is still lacking several essential features, and it needs to provide users with compelling reasons to make the switch or develop a new social media habit.
Although it is looking to create new features including launching a desktop option, to achieve enduring popularity in the competitive social media landscape, the Threads app and its developers must concentrate on providing a seamless user experience and delivering distinctive value that sets it apart from the competition.
Jasmine Enberg, principal analyst at Insider Intelligence, acknowledged that Meta only needs 1 in 4 Instagram users to use Threads monthly for it to rival Twitter’s size. This, however, would require considerable effort and innovation.
But now that ‘Twitter’ is gone and Elon Musk is rebirthing it into the X app, a super app that encompasses practically every activity an online user needs, maybe Threads can race to be the go-to option for the once-loved Twitter-like experience.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!