If you use Instagram regularly, you’ve no doubt heard about Threads, a new app built by the Instagram team with the purpose of sharing short pieces of text, photos, videos, links and more.
Sound familiar? Threads is the latest rival of Twitter (sorry, X), and, unlike previous rivals, had a hugely triumphant debut with 100 million users signing up just five days after it launched. With its 3.88 billion monthly users, Meta’s carbon copy of Twitter was looking to be a big threat, but after a few weeks, this may not be the case after all.
Initial excitement for Threads seems to have died down, with 49 million active Android users on its most popular day (7th July) dropping to just 24 million on 14th July. Instagram has replicated features from similar apps in the past with great success, such as stories from Snapchat and Reels from TikTok, but Threads doesn’t seem to have the same engagement despite the initial buzz.
However, this hasn’t stopped Meta. They have announced that they are working on adding some more “retention hooks” to entice people back into using Threads, such as making sure people who are on the Instagram app can see important Threads. They have also begun rolling out the option to see a chronological feed of posts from accounts users follow, something that was a key feature Threads needed to seriously compete with Twitter.
Threads has also introduced the ability to filter notifications by follows, replies, quoted posts, mentions, interactions from verified accounts and reposts. They are also making improvements to the Follow button, making it easier to follow people back and approve follow requests all at once for private accounts. The fact the Instagram team are actively working on ways to make the Threads app better and more user-friendly shows there is a strong determination to keep the app around and continue the battle with Twitter.
And with the recent rebranding of Twitter to X, could it be a great opportunity for Threads to take over and truly claim victory?
Since its debut in mid-June, there have been many comparisons between Threads and Twitter from the user experience to accessibility, opinions and preferences have been surfacing everywhere online. With so many viewpoints, it’s difficult to see which platform is in the lead of the war to be the favourite.
With things looking a little uncertain for Twitter/X at the moment, Meta could use this opportunity to develop and enhance the Threads app to make it the best it can possibly be. This would include working on a desktop version of the platform, updating the search tool to help discovery and developing the accessibility options across the app.
If Threads continues to grow and improve, and Twitter/X continues to struggle through uncertain times, there is potential that Threads could be the next big thing. It’s definitely one to keep an eye on, and we’re excited to see what Meta has in store for the platform.