Meta’s newest offering – Threads has trailed rival Twitter’s path introducing rate limits among the many fresh new updates expected to improve user experience.
Prior to the updates, on initial launch, users experienced challenges, especially with regards to uploading images despite amassing as much as 100 million users in its first week, becoming one of the fastest growing social media apps.
The updates include translation of posts for different languages users can understand as well as following enhancements, like getting following on replies, showing Instagram following page and allowing subscriptions for unfollowed users.
Tongue waging updates
In a post on Threads, Meta’s Cameron Roth announced the updates for the social media platform such as a ‘Following’ tab on its activity feed page. This is not unique to Threads alone but has already been introduced by Twitter and TikTok.
Other new features introduced include removing bugs and improvements on the activity feed and these features according to Roth, might not be available immediately for all users.
“You may need to restart your app to see some of these or otherwise wait until the end of the day,” warned Roth.
“We may use a system of server-delivered flags which can take a while to fully release.”
Although the updates were welcomed by users who described them as “nice updates” while others demanded updates for Android, it was Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri’s announcement that threatened to dampen the sentiment – the introduction of rate limits. When Twitter introduced this, the move did not go down well with its users.
But Mosseri said the implementation of rate limits on the platform was to tackle spam and bot accounts.
“Spam attacks have picked up so we’re going to have to get tighter on things like rate limits, which is going to mean more unintentionally limiting active people (false positives),” he said.
The announcement, together with other updates introduced to the platform seem to mimic rival Twitter, although users greatly anticipated an improved version of the Elon Musk-owned micro-blogging platform. Musk himself made a mockery of the updates in a post insinuating Threads is just a copycat.
Some of Musk’s followers concurred saying there was nothing new with Threads and the app was likely to continue copying everything that Twitter has and will introduce.
“Just get ready for more. They are not going to stop copying you. Except when it comes to $doge into the platform. I am almost sure they won’t copy you there,” responded one user identified as Dekashi Sky.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 17, 2023
The price to pay
Threads has proven to be a popular application attracting 100 million subscribers during the first week of its launch.
However, while the latest updates are meant to improve user experience, they have come at a price. The app’s daily active users have halved to 23.6 million, as of July 14, about 22% of Twitter’s users, according to data tracking site SimilarWeb.
According to the figures, Threads’ best day was July 7, when it had more than 49 million daily users on Android and this was about 45% of Twitter, which had over 109 million active users on the same platform.
The average time spent on the app in the US was about 21 minutes, as of July 7, but dropped to a little over 6 minutes a week later.
While Threads was experiencing huge volumes of traffic in its first two days, rival Twitter went down 5% as compared to the same period in the prior week.
SimilarWeb also highlights that “although traffic bounced back, for the most recent 7 days of data it’s still down 11% year-over-year.”
The Instagram edge
While Threads has proven popular within weeks of launch, SimilarWeb contends that if the app succeeds over Twitter, it will be because of its Instagram edge. But there are already signs of the new social media platform biting into Twitter’s share.
During the first two days of Threads, average time spent on Twitter dropped by 4.3% in addition to a general decline in traffic, as users rushed to check out Meta’s new platform.
Despite its growth, SimilarWeb opines there is still a lot to be done for Threads to catch up and surpass Twitter or at least compel users to switch.
But Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is upbeat that the platform will stabilize and retain its market share.