In a strategic bid to regain its momentum following a notable decline in user engagement, Meta, the parent company of social media giants Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has unveiled a web-based iteration of its microblogging platform Threads. The move comes as Meta endeavors to counteract the waning allure of its “Twitter killer” platform, Threads, which was launched in July as a rival to Elon Musk’s Twitter, now rebranded as X.
Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief Executive of Meta, personally heralded the release of the desktop version. Accompanying his announcement was a nostalgic image of his younger self in his dorm room, affixed to a Threads post captioned, “Actual footage of me building Threads for web. Rolling out over the next few days.”
The web browser functionality within Threads marks a substantial stride towards parity with its competitor, X.
Threads initially enjoyed a surge in user registrations, amassing an impressive 100 million new sign-ups within its debut week on 5 July. Nevertheless, just three weeks later, the enthusiasm dwindled, with the number of daily active users experiencing a considerable plummet. Following a zenith of 49 million users shortly after launch, the platform’s engagement dwindled to 12 million active users on 22 July, as reported by Similarweb, the internet traffic analysis firm.
Threads emerged amidst a period of turbulence for Twitter, spearheaded by Musk’s overhaul of the platform, entailing massive workforce reductions, alterations to moderation policies, and changes in functionality. The alterations invoked backlash from both users and advertisers.
In a continued competitive tussle, Meta’s Threads entered the arena shortly after Musk’s decision to limit the daily number of tweets users could access on Twitter, amplifying the animosity between the tech titans.
With an interface akin to X, Threads functions as a space for real-time updates and public discourse, allowing users to engage, share, and endorse each other’s content.
The rivalry narrative between Meta and X perseveres. Notably, Zuckerberg dispelled any notions of a proposed cage fight with Musk, stating that the Tesla chief executive displayed a lack of “seriousness” about the idea. The notion of such a fight had been initially mooted by Musk in response to Meta’s pursuit of a Twitter competitor.
Zuckerberg’s retort was unequivocal: “If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me. Otherwise, time to move on.”
In light of this ongoing saga, the launch of the web version of Threads serves as Meta’s calculated response to revitalize its stance in the evolving landscape of digital engagement and competition.