One of several critical features Threads users have been waiting for rolled out Thursday: There’s now a web version of the platform.
When Threads made its official debut, it should have arrived with several elements. You could surely count as one of them a web version.
Not everyone has a smartphone, even in the year 2023. Any text-based social media platform should allow users to post from a desktop or laptop computer. Most of us — at least most of a certain age — prefer typing on an actual keyboard rather than on a smartphone screen.
Fledgling social media network Threads began rolling it out on Thursday morning.
To say it was overdue, even as young as the platform is, was an understatement.
I’m glad to have the option to post from my desktop (or laptop). I think I’m much more likely to use the platform more often this way. (And as I do, you can find me here.)
But can a web version ‘save’ the platform?
About a day before the rollout appeared, Forbes asked that question in an interesting article. It cited the platform’s incredible launch with 100 million downloads in five days. But that overwhelming response didn’t last. The magazine pointed to data from Similarweb showing the number of active users dropped 80% from July 7 to Aug. 7.
If it had launched with a web version on day one, that certainly would have helped, I think. But there are still other critical functions it doesn’t have but should.
It desperately needs a search function. I want to be able to search for topics, not just users. It needs clickable hashtags so I can further find topics I want to read about. A private message function would be great. I know that doesn’t sound like a long list. To launch these days without a web version was a bad mistake in my book.
More than anything else, however, I think the next critical feature it needs is a scheduling option. (We should be able to schedule either on the platform itself or through a third-party social media app. Instagram offers a scheduling option
Forbes, I must tell you, says it would be a mistake to characterize Threads as dying. I hope it doesn’t.
But a web version will certainly help. Forbes contributor Roger Dooley says it this way:
Many of the most active social media users interact primarily via desktop. I tend to spend time daily on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, and Instagram. During office hours, this interaction is all on my desktop via browser, where it’s easy to share content and switch between apps.
I do, too. Forcing me to only be able to use my phone to post means limiting my time on your platform. Especially when I’m doing most everything else on my laptop.
Don’t get me wrong: I love my trusty iPhone. But I don’t love apps that force me there with no other options…especially when I’m at work!
Give me options and I’ll be a happy camper. The more you take those options away, the more I’ll look for alternatives to what you offer.
Can a web version “save” Threads? Not, I think, by itself. But for this user, Threads just got a lot more attractive.