In an attempt to tackle declining user retention, Threads, Instagram's once-prominent app, has rolled out new features that could potentially revitalize user interest.
One such pivotal feature is "Send on Instagram," which empowers Threads users to share content directly to Instagram's direct messages. This move isn’t just a matter of convenience, but strategy. The idea is that receiving a thread via Instagram might prompt a user to rekindle their interaction with Threads, or even invite new users to try the platform.
This decision stems from Meta's broader vision of ramping up retention for Threads. The drop in usage – a staggering half of its initial 100 million users post-launch – was indeed a cause of concern, yet CEO Mark Zuckerberg perceives this as a typical pattern. As per a company town hall meeting, Mark and Chief Product Officer Chris Cox emphasized the importance of weaving "retention-driving hooks" into the app, one of which involves bridging Instagram and Threads more closely.
Threads hasn’t stopped there. Other new introductions include a button for effortless profile mentions, and a more inclusive alt-text addition feature for photos and videos, catering to visually impaired users. This alt-text feature echoes a similar emphasis by Threads' competitor, Mastodon. Furthermore, Threads now allows users a more nuanced post interaction experience, ranging from sorting following lists to accessing liked posts chronologically.
However, the roadmap for Threads isn't restricted to these updates. It is poised to integrate with ActivityPub, the backbone of decentralized platforms like Mastodon. This integration is speculated to immerse Threads into a larger ecosystem of decentralized social apps.
Given Threads’ monumental achievement of rapidly amassing 100 million users, its subsequent decline sparked various theories about its longevity. However, casting it off as a doomed endeavor might be hasty. In the volatile world of apps, maintaining high retention rates post-launch is a rarity. As data suggests, even achieving 50% retention after launch is considered a feat.
Compared to industry standards, Threads is still holding its own. With further strategic innovations and a web app in the pipeline, Threads may just be gearing up for a significant comeback.