The dust has settled for Threads. Active users on Meta’s Twitter-like platform are down by 80% since its launch in early July, per research firms Similarweb and Sensor Tower. Now brands wonder whether to invest time and resources in the new app.
Here’s my assessment of Threads — pros and cons — five weeks after launch.
Easy onboarding. Threads’ early success was mainly due to the seamless sign-up process via Instagram — users register through Instagram and can follow the same accounts with a single click. This contrasts with Mastodon’s difficult, decentralized setup. Threads also imports Instagram’s blue tick verification and offers a simple way for users to share content from Threads to Instagram.
New “Following” feed. The Meta team has responded quickly to requests for new features, including rolling out a chronological feed option with content only from those you follow. This update is similar to Twitter’s (now X’s) “What’s happening” section, albeit requiring a tap of the Threads’ logo.
Strong community management. Meta has provided users with options to restrict or block unwanted interactions and is otherwise apparently committed to enforcing Instagram’s community guidelines on Threads. These steps encourage a positive community, versus the opposite frequently on X.
Twitter in turmoil. The launch of Threads comes at a chaotic time for Twitter, with its controversial X rebrand, mass layoffs, confusing paid verification, and difficulting distinguishing ads from organic content.
Poor search and discovery. Threads is missing post-level search functionality and support for hashtags, making it difficult for users to find content outside their feeds.
Limited desktop version. Threads desktop version only supports viewing content where you have a direct link to the user or posts. There is no ability to post or search.
Overcoming inertia. Building new habits is tough. By releasing Threads as a standalone product, Meta faces the challenge of convincing folks to use it permanently.
Growing competition. X’s dominance is foreboding. TikTok has launched text-only posts, enabling users to share written content. Both options could dissuade users from switching.
Sticking with Threads
Threads success is far from guaranteed. However, despite its early drop in traffic, Threads will benefit from X’s chaos and Meta’s quick adjustments and focus on retention. That’s why I’m sticking with it and advising brands to do the same.