Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is introducing a web version of its social media platform Threads in an attempt to reinvigorate its user base. Threads, intended to rival Twitter (now referred to as X), initially experienced rapid growth upon its launch but saw a decline in users due to limited functionality.
New Features and Strategy
Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the upcoming launch of the web version of Threads. This version will enable users to post threads, engage with others’ content, and view their feed. However, certain functionalities available on the mobile app, such as editing profiles and utilizing the direct messenger feature from Instagram, will not be accessible initially. Meta plans to enhance the web version’s capabilities in the coming weeks to align its experience with the mobile app.
Challenges and Improvements
While Threads garnered over 100 million users within its first week, that number halved by the end of July. Experts have highlighted the need for Meta to further develop and improve the platform to regain user interest. The lack of a search function and limited functionality have hindered Threads’ ability to compete effectively with platforms like X.
Comparisons to Twitter and User Expectations
Rebecca McGrath, an associate director for media and technology at Mintel, emphasized that Threads launched in a basic form, leading to frustration among users who expected a more comprehensive alternative to Twitter. She suggested that offering a web version is an important step but acknowledged that Meta still has work to do to fully revitalize the platform.
Challenges to Overcome and Competition with X
Meta will need to focus on enhancing search functionality and community discovery to attract users seeking an alternative to platforms like X. Tama Leaver, a professor of internet studies at Curtin University, noted that implementing features like hashtags could make Threads more appealing to users seeking topic-based communities.
Capitalizing on Controversies and User Desires
Experts believe that the ongoing controversies surrounding platforms like X could create an opportunity for Threads to regain users. Continued controversial decisions on other platforms might make users more open to engaging with Threads when it offers an improved version.
Time is of the Essence
While the introduction of a web version is a positive step, the success of Threads will depend on its ability to swiftly address user concerns, improve functionality, and provide an alternative to existing platforms. The competition in the social media landscape remains fierce, and Meta’s success in revitalizing Threads will be closely watched.