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Threads banks on Instagram promotion to combat declining engagement

The news: Meta's Instagram is looking to draw users' attention to its Threads app by showcasing a "For you on Threads" carousel that provides a direct link to open Threads.

  • Along with this new feature, Meta has also integrated a "Send to Instagram DM" button on Threads, enabling users to effortlessly share content with their Instagram contacts.
  • In an attempt to captivate desktop users, Meta recently unveiled Threads on the web.

Will it work? Instagram's new tactic to promote Threads is intriguing, especially considering Instagram's established success.

  • The strategy of diverting users from Instagram, a platform devoid of ads and with decreasing marketer engagement, to Threads, which currently lacks monetization, raises questions.
  • If Instagram ratchets up its use of this feature, it could be potentially detrimental to the platform’s user experience, especially without immediate financial returns.

Yes, but: A year ago, Instagram's decision to heavily promote Reels in user feeds faced criticism, but the risk bore fruit.

  • But the distinction between Reels and Threads is clear: While Reels offers engaging short-form videos, Threads is more text-centric. Are Instagram users who seek visual content equally keen on Threads' text-oriented format?
  • The crux of Instagram's push toward Threads might be rooted in potential advertising strategies. If Threads is on the brink of featuring advertisements, building its engagement now is a logical move. However, if ad integration is on a longer timeline, this strategy might be less of an asset and more of a diversion.

The scorecard: Despite its engagement-boosting initiatives, data from analytics firms suggests a decline in Threads' active user base since its launch.

  • Designed as a competitor to Twitter (now X), Threads made headlines with its rapid adoption, securing 100 million users within a week of its July debut. This record-breaking growth, however, was short-lived.
  • Similarweb data reveals a 70% drop in daily active users from its peak.
  • The recent web version of Threads, aimed at enticing desktop users, seems to have attracted existing users rather than new ones. While there was an uptick in website visitors after the launch, it coincided with a drop in the app's active users.
  • Threads' declining engagement highlights the challenge of maintaining user interest on social media. While fast growth is notable, it doesn't ensure sustained usage in this unpredictable landscape.