Meta to launch web version of flagging Threads app
A web version of Threads is being released by Meta as part of its efforts to revive the social network.
Launched in July, X’s rival, formerly known as Twitter, experienced meteoric growth.
Its limited functionality, however, caused users to abandon it just as quickly.
Experts warn that in order to rebuild customer interest, more must be done than the web version. Meta says the web version is part of a drive to deliver new features.
“Over the next few days,” Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on the platform accompanied by a picture of him building Threads for the web.
Post a thread, view your feed, and interact with other people’s threads.
The web version of the mobile app will not initially support other aspects of the mobile app.
The direct messenger feature of Instagram’s sister platform will not be available, for example.
Meta says it will add more functionality in the coming weeks as it strives to make the app’s web and mobile experiences the same.
The number of Threads users soared to over 100 million in the week following its launch, but by the end of July, that number had more than halved.
It is hoped that this announcement will counteract that trend, since Facebook and WhatsApp are also owned by the tech giant.
According to Rebecca McGrath, associate director of media and technology at Mintel, Meta chose to launch Threads in a very basic form.
Users were expecting it to be a ready-to-go alternative to Twitter following its much-hyped launch, she said.
It is an important step to provide a web version. However, there is still a long way to go.”
Experts say the platform needs a search function to compete with Elon Musk’s X, something users have complained about.
In order to attract back users who are looking to replace Twitter, Meta will need to create a vastly improved search functionality that allows users to find topic-based communities, Tama Leaver, a professor of internet studies at Curtin University in Australia, told the BBC.
Meta’s reluctance to implement hashtags, especially since they’re already on Instagram, seems odd on that front, since that’s the single feature most associated with X and the one that’s likely to make users return and give Threads a second chance.”
Additionally, Prof Leaver said Threads’ efforts to dethrone X might be aided by Twitter’s ongoing controversies.
A Holocaust-denying post was not removed quickly enough by the organization on Monday. Musk’s plans to remove the block feature have also been criticized, with some saying it will make it more difficult for abusive messages to be blocked.
Mintel’s Rebecca McGrath concurs, saying X’s “continued controversy” will keep the desire for alternatives high.
As a result, Threads will be ready for a new round of engagement once it has an advanced version, she told the BBC.
“Time is still of the essence for Threads, however.”