There was a moment not too long ago when the future looked bright for Threads, Meta’s Twitter competitor. Twitter had recently rebranded itself as “X,” and Threads’ relatively easy process for signing up — if you have an Instagram account, at least — led to mass registration. It’s what came next that sparked some skepticism.
Turns out a number of new Threads users seemed underwhelmed with the new platform — and stopped using it. All of which makes a recent announcement from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg very understandable. As per Engadget’s reporting, Threads will soon have both a search functionality and a web interface.
“Search and web coming in the next few weeks,” Zuckerberg announced in a post on Threads. It’s encouraging news to any Threads users who have been waiting anxiously for either or both of these features to come to pass. But it also raises the question of whether Threads wouldn’t have been better-served by waiting until it had a fuller suite of features more comparable to its Elon Musk-owned competitor before launching.
The One Missing Feature That Prevents Threads from Being a “Twitter Killer”Meta’s new social media app needs to copy one very specific element of Twitter
Comparing Threads to fellow Twitter competitor BlueSky is instructive in this case. Again, Threads was absurdly easy to sign up for if you have an Instagram account. BlueSky is taking a more gradual approach, requiring that new users be invited by existing users. But if you’re someone who’d prefer to post and reply to posts via your browser, only BlueSky has this functionality right now. It’s not hard to see how this could have cost Threads in the weeks that followed that initial rush of new signups.
Even with the dip in user engagement, Threads still has a few things going for it — specifically, the backing of Meta. But it’s worth mentioning that the initial rush of signups for Threads took place just one month ago — an illustration of just how fast things can change in the world of social media.
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