Mark Zuckerberg’s Threads app heads to desktop

Lungile Msomi
By Lungile Msomi, ITWeb journalist
Johannesburg, 23 Aug 2023
Meta begins rolling out the desktop version of its X-rival app Threads.
Meta begins rolling out the desktop version of its X-rival app Threads.

Facebook parent company Meta Platforms has started to roll out the desktop version of its Threads text-based social media platform.

The company made the announcement in a video posted on the Threads app, saying the desktop version will have a .net domain name.

In a Threads post, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg added the desktop-based version will reach all users over the next few days.

Users of the X (formerly Twitter)-rival platform will be able to access the microblogging platform by logging-in to its website from their computer, explained Zuckerberg.

The deployment comes after Threads experienced a decline in active daily users, after its meteoric rise to 100 million sign-ups within five days of its launch in July.

Digital and analytics company Similarweb revealed the social media app’s daily active users dropped from 49 million to 23.6 million users in July. Earlier this month, Similarweb indicated Threads users had shrunk to 10.3 million daily active users.

Zuckerberg previously stated the company would provide retention hooks to entice users to return to Threads.

Brent Janse Van Vuuren, MD of Socialmedia101, explains that retention hooks refer to tactics used by apps to keep users engaged and foster repeat usage.

“Currently, we see notifications being used effectively as a hook. For example, users receive alerts when someone they follow on Instagram signs up for Threads, or when one of their followers publishes their first Thread. Such notifications not only promote engagement, but also encourage a sense of community.”

Threads users have welcomed the new feature, with one user saying: “Finally it’s confirmed from official sources. Hope it’s as amazing as the app; I love this platform a lot.”

Another user hoped to see more improvements: “It would be good to pause, rewind and fast-forward videos, but assume your product managers are debating that one already.”

A potential switch from X to Threads might be on the cards for some users, after X owner Elon Musk announced he would be removing the block feature from X, except for direct messages.

The community notes feature on X, designed to keep false information from spreading on the platform, shows the block feature is a requirement for social media apps to be allowed on the App Store and Google Play Store.

However, Musk insists the block feature will still be removed and that the focus is to keep X as an open source platform.