Meta’s new social media platform could have a problem, a report suggests: Threads engagement time dropped by more than 50%.
Gizmodo characterized the latest Threads engagement numbers as having “cratered.” Their recent article cited a drop in engagement from 20 minutes to just eight after the first week.
The website says that NBC News reported users’ attention was dropping off. It didn’t say, however, that they were leaving the platform. I think that’s at least an interesting point to consider.
I’m not a social media platform analyst, mind you. But it seems to me that a drop in engagement was to be expected, particularly in a platform that had such a strong start. Threads saw 100 million signups in the first week. Meta says that’s more than they expected. It may well have been.
A drop in engagement, though shouldn’t have been a surprise, however.
A lackluster grand opening
Everyone wants to see what’s new and shiny whenever there’s a big rollout. But as I said in my own review of the platform last week, my main issue with Threads isn’t that it’s a bad platform. It’s that Threads is mostly an incomplete platform. I didn’t give it an F grade, but I certainly didn’t give it an A.
Threads’ engagement wouldn’t have dropped so dramatically, I suspect, if it had launched with the basics that Twitter already has. You can post, you can repost someone else’s post. You can tag someone. And you can like and comment to others’ posts.
But you can’t use hashtags. Though you can search for screen names, you can’t search for topics (which is nearly useless unless you happen to know someone’s actual screen name). You can’t even use a desktop version of the app because there isn’t one. You can’t send private messages to people you know who are on Threads. (And if you’re active on Instagram, there’s a good chance you have people on Threads that you’d like to be able to send a private message to.)
Threads started off nicely, though a bit more limited than I hoped for.
My engagement dropped on it a bit as well, I’ll admit. But I’m still impressed by what I saw in the first week. Even with the limited options on Threads, I’ll say that interactions with my posts there are still better than on Twitter — and I’ve been on Twitter since 2008!
If the users who are spending less time on Threads are like me, they’re still getting more interaction there than they are on Twitter.
I would have liked to see Threads make its debut with more under the hood. But I’m willing to give it time to see if the engagement from my connections increases over time. I’m also willing to see how long it takes Meta to get its act together and start adding features.
I’m patient…but only for so long.