Home Technology Mark Zuckerberg praises Threads seeing “tens of millions” of people returning to the app every day

Mark Zuckerberg praises Threads seeing “tens of millions” of people returning to the app every day

by Ana Lopez
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Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, reports that Instagram’s Twitter rival, Threads, is already seeing usage decline, noting in a new post Monday that “tens of millions of people come back every day.” The app got off to a remarkably strong start with more than 100 million users in a few days of its debut, recently reaching one-fifth of Twitter’s weekly active user base. A report from an analysis agency Similarweb indicated that Threads usage had already fallen by half from its initial increase, claiming daily active users on its rival Twitter had dropped from 49 million to 23.6 million in just a week.

Of course, a slight decrease in usage is common after initial interest in a new social app wears off. There’s a wave of early engagement as users set up their accounts, follow friends, and make their first posts. But soon after, people have to figure out how the app fits into their daily lives among all the other social apps they use to network and connect with others. So it’s not surprising to see a dip in Threads’ involvement now that the novelty has worn off.

But Zuckerberg is positioning the app’s engagement numbers as a win, not a loss.

“I am very optimistic about how the Threads community is coming together,” the CEO wrote on Threads on Monday. “The early growth was off the charts, but more importantly, now tens of millions of people are returning every day. That is much further than we expected,” he continued. “The focus for the rest of the year is on improving the base and retention. It will take time to stabilize, but once we get the hang of that, we will focus on growing the community. We’ve run this playbook many times (FB, IG, Stories, Reels, etc.) and I’m confident that Threads is also on the right track,” added Zuckerberg.

His comments follow previous statements from Instagram head Adam Mosseri who said a few days ago that the focus right now was “not engagement,” but “getting past the initial peak and trough we see with any new product, and building new features, dialing in performance, and improving ranking.” He also confirmed that Threads’ growth, retention and engagement were well ahead of the company’s expectations. In other words, Meta is not worried about any small dips for the time being.

Threads’ early success fueled a rivalry between Zuckerberg and Twitter owner Elon Musk. For example, last week, users noticed that Twitter had started blocking links to Threads in Twitter searches. Meanwhile, Musk resorted to name-calling, tweet “Zuck is a cuck,” and roughly suggesting a “literal dick-measuring contest.”

Still, it’s clear that Threads is concerned about Twitter. Last week, in an effort to keep high-profile Twitter users from leaving the platform, the company launched a new monetization program that would pay verified creators a portion of the revenue earned from ads that appear in the replies on their posts. Creators reported receiving four- to five-figure revenues. Over the weekend, Twitter adjusted its policy to increase speed limits for verified users by 50%, allowing them to scroll and read more tweets before being cut off. (Fee limits were put in place to reduce spam and bot activity on the platform).

In addition, Musk announced that Twitter would also start sharing ad revenue from profile page views, which should “approximately double the payouts,” adding that only views from verified users would count.

Twitter is still ahead of Threads in terms of user base, but it’s still early days for the new Instagram app.

Meta promises that another set of features will come to Threads, including things like multi-account support, an edit button, the ability to search posts instead of just profiles, translation, the ability to revisit liked posts, a chronological feed (aka next feed), and of course integration with the “fediverse” – or the decentralized social network that includes Mastodon and other apps.

With these additions, Threads usage and retention could grow again as the app reaches feature parity with Twitter.

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