Great Expectations: Theory On Why Threads Is Performing So Poorly

Pizza Cake Comic hilarious take on Threads dying

Image Credit: Created by the hilarious PizzaCake (Feel free to support her on Patreon)

Meta is getting desperate & is now promoting their X killer on Instagram.

Meta is continuously experimenting with features to bump up engagement on Threads, which has fallen off after the initial rush of excitement and installs. In the latest test, the company is showing a carousel of suggested Threads posts on the Instagram app.

As noted by many users across the world, Instagram is now showing a “For you on Threads” carousel with a button to open the app directly on your phone. (...)

Last week, Meta officially introduced Threads on the web with features like the ability to quote posts still missing. This was a highly anticipated launch to encourage frequent posters to be more active from their desktop. Data from analytics company Similarweb suggests that until now, that move hasn’t brought in a ton of users. After the launch, week-over-week user gains in the U.S. (+133,400) were larger than the dip in active app users (-82,400), but this could be a result of existing users switching from mobile to desktop. (TechCrunch)

This is not an excellent look for Meta, as Threads is a shadow of its former self when the site rocketed past 100 million users months ago.

So why is Threads doing so poorly‽ My theory is that Threads has underwhelmed users (both geeks & non-geeks) who expected a shiny, fully developed toy boasting many (if not most) of the features seen in X or Instagram.

The bare-bones first experience of Threads underwhelmed many newcomers, & most probably returned to X or Instagram to get their micro-blogging fix. The only silver lining is that Threads helped popularize the philosophy of the Fediverse to the masses, which might explain why Mastodon, Misskey, Pixelfed have seen recent increases in signups recently (at least according to FediDB).

Fediverse growth from September (2021-2023)

Can Threads Get It’s Groove Back‽

Potentially, yes. However, Threads will need powerful incentives to entice current Instagram users to take a second look at Threads again. I guess that Threads will heavily lean upon Instagram’s infrastructure (beyond direct messages), & Threads live streaming will be powered by Instagram.

Threads could also introduce audio posts (a feature not exactly supported by Instagram) to entice podcasters to sign up, & have their thread podcasts automatically cross-posted to Instagram.

I do believe that Threads will receive a second wind once they open up to nation states within the European Union, but aside from X, I believe Threads biggest rival will be a pending Fediverse entrant who goes by the name of Tumblr.

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