Meta’s Threads App Struggles to Retain Users Despite New Features

Meta’s text-based social media app Threads, which was launched in July 2023 as a rival to Twitter, has seen a significant decline in user engagement and growth, according to various reports and data sources. The app, which allows users to post short messages and follow topics of interest, has failed to sustain the initial hype and excitement that surrounded its debut.

Threads’ Launch Was a Record-Breaking Success

Threads was introduced as a new app from Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, that aimed to provide a simpler and more focused social media experience for users who wanted to share their thoughts and opinions on various topics. The app leveraged the existing user base of Instagram, Meta’s photo-sharing app, by allowing users to sign up for Threads with just a few clicks and import their profile information from Instagram. Threads also offered users the option to cross-post their messages to Instagram Stories, thus increasing the visibility and reach of the app.

Meta’s Threads App Struggles to Retain Users Despite New Features
Meta’s Threads App Struggles to Retain Users Despite New Features

The launch of Threads was met with overwhelming enthusiasm and curiosity from users, who flocked to download the app and try it out. Within the first week of its launch, Threads had amassed over 100 million sign-ups, making it the fastest growing app in history. The app also received positive reviews from critics and influencers, who praised its minimalist design, user-friendly interface, and topic-based approach.

Threads’ Engagement and Growth Have Plummeted Since Launch

However, the initial success of Threads did not last long, as users soon realized that the app lacked many features and functionalities that they expected from a social media platform. Some of the main drawbacks of Threads were:

  • Limited availability: The app was only launched in select countries, such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and India, leaving out many potential users from other regions.
  • Limited functionality: The app did not have many features that users were accustomed to on other platforms, such as direct messaging, commenting, liking, retweeting, hashtags, polls, stickers, emojis, etc.
  • Limited content: The app did not have enough content to keep users engaged and interested, as many topics were either too broad or too niche, and many users did not post frequently or consistently.
  • Limited discovery: The app did not have an effective way of helping users discover new topics and users to follow, as it relied on Instagram data to suggest topics based on user interests, which was not always accurate or relevant.

As a result of these limitations, many users lost interest in Threads and stopped using the app regularly. According to Similarweb, a digital intelligence platform, Threads’ daily active user count peaked at 2.3 million on July 7th, two days after its launch, but then dropped by 79% to 576,000 by August 7th. The average time spent on the app also decreased from 21 minutes per day in early July to 6 minutes per day by late August.

Meta Continues to Improve Threads with New Features

Despite the disappointing performance of Threads so far, Meta has not given up on the app and continues to work on improving it with new features and updates. Some of the recent additions to Threads are:

  • Messaging: Meta has added a messaging feature to Threads that allows users to send direct messages to other users within the app. The messaging feature is integrated with Instagram’s inbox, so users can access their messages from both apps.
  • Discovery: Meta has improved the discovery feature of Threads by adding more categories and subcategories for topics, as well as allowing users to search for topics by keywords. Users can also see trending topics and popular posts on the home screen of the app.
  • Content: Meta has increased the content variety and quality of Threads by adding more formats and options for posts, such as images, videos, links, quotes, etc. Users can also customize their posts with fonts, colors, backgrounds, etc.

Meta hopes that these new features will attract more users to Threads and increase their engagement and retention. However, it remains to be seen whether these improvements will be enough to compete with Twitter and other social media platforms that have already established themselves in the market.

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