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Threads adds Following feed and other tweaks amid 70% drop in users

Other improvements have surfaced as well. However, Threads faces a larger issue than simply adding new features and fixing bugs. Why such a drop in active use? There are several reasons.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
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Many websites include icons through which you can share content directly on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Threads so far lacks that type of integration.

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Meta has beefed up its Threads app with some much-needed and requested improvements weeks after its early July debut. In a thread posted on Tuesday, Instagram head Adam Mosseri revealed that the company has heard user feedback and is rolling out some updates as a result.

Tops on the list is a Following feed that displays posts only from the accounts you follow and in chronological order to boot. Until now, Threads saddled users with a For You Feed that showed posts from followed accounts as well as random accounts, making it difficult to see only posts from people you follow. The top of the feed screen now includes headings for For You and Following so you can switch back and forth between the two types of feeds.

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Other improvements have surfaced as well. You can now translate a post into one of several supported languages. A follow button next to each of your followers makes it easier for you to follow them back. There are new ways to filter notifications on the Activity screen. And you can more quickly approve new followers if your account is set as private.

Threads launched earlier this month with several basic features, but users accustomed to Twitter, aka X, found some much-needed options missing. A week later, Mosseri posted a thread promising a few new features and fixes. Beyond the ability to see only followed accounts in your feed, other items on the to-do list include an edit button to revise posts, hashtags, and a way to search for posts.

However, Threads faces a larger issue than simply adding new features and fixing bugs. Less than a week after its debut, the platform had scooped up more than 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing app ever. But sustaining that level of interest has proved to be a challenge, leading to a dramatic decline in the number of active users.

Since peak volume on July 7, the number of active daily Threads users has fallen by 70%, according to data from market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, as reported by Forbes. The actual number of daily users is around 13 million, down from 44 million on July 7. And the average amount of time spent using the app each day is 4 minutes, down from a peak of 19 minutes. In contrast, Twitter (X) has around 200 million active daily users, while the average daily time spent using the service is 30 minutes.

Why such a drop in active use? There are several reasons.

First, people weary of Elon Musk's antics likely flocked to Threads, hoping for a white knight only to discover a platform lacking several key features. Second, with Facebook and X and Instagram and Bluesky and Threads and Tik Tok, we're now flooded with social networks, limiting the amount of time and interest for any one service. Third, many websites include icons through which you can share content directly on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Threads so far lacks that type of integration.

Also: 5 reasons to try Twitter rival Bluesky

Still, the folks behind Threads are putting up a brave face in the midst of declining user numbers. In a thread posted on Monday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he was optimistic about the way the Threads community is coming together.

"Early growth was off the charts, but more importantly tens of millions of people now come back daily," Zuckerberg added. "That's way ahead of what we expected. The focus for the rest of the year is improving the basics and retention. It'll take time to stabilize, but once we nail that then we'll focus on growing the community. We've run this playbook many times (FB, IG, Stories, Reels, etc.) and I'm confident Threads is on a good path too."

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