Meta is launching a web-based version of Threads in an effort to revitalize the social media platform.
When it launched in July, the rival to X, formerly known as Twitter, experienced meteoric growth. However, consumers quickly abandoned it, in part because of its limited functionality.
Meta states that the web version is part of an initiative to deliver new features, but experts caution that more must be done to restore consumer interest.
In a post on the platform, accompanied by what he claimed was a photo of him developing Threads for the web, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, mentioned that the feature would be released over the next few days.
Users will have the ability to post a thread, examine their feed, and participate in other users' threads. However, other aspects of the mobile application will not initially be available on the web.
For instance, users won't be able to modify their profile or send a direct message to Instagram's direct messaging feature.
Meta says it will introduce more functionality to the app in the coming weeks in an effort to unify the web and mobile experiences.
In the week following its debut, Threads attracted more than 100 million users, but by the end of July, that number had more than halved.
The massive technology company, which also controls two other social media platforms, has high hopes that this news would contribute to the reversal of the trend.
Rebecca McGrath, associate director of media and technology at Mintel, asserts that Meta made the decision to publish Threads in a form that is quite fundamental.
She went on to say that this has been a letdown for users who tested out the app following its much-touted introduction in the expectation that it would be a fully-functioning alternative to Twitter.
The provision of a version accessible via the web is a necessary step. Having said that, there remains a significant amount of work to be done.
Users have complained that the platform lacks a search function, and experts say it requires one if it is to truly compete with Elon Musk's X.
Professor of Internet Studies at Curtin University in Australia, Tama Leaver, told sources that Meta will need to roll out a vastly improved search functionality to allow users to locate topic-based communities in order to truly attract back the crowd looking to replace Twitter.
He also mentioned that Meta's reluctance to implement hashtags, especially since they're already on Instagram, seems like an odd decision, given that hashtags are the single feature most synonymous with X and the function most likely to convince users to revisit Threads.
On Monday, it was criticized for not swiftly removing a post that denied the Holocaust.
Mr. Musk's plans to eliminate the block feature have also been criticized, with some claiming that it will be more difficult to halt abusive messages.
Rebecca McGrath from Mintel concurs, stating that X's "continued controversial moves" will keep up the desire for alternatives.
This indicates that people will be ready to engage with Threads once more once it has a more advanced iteration, and time is still of the essence for Threads, she told sources.