Zuckerberg caught on tape: less than 50% of the initial 100M Threads subscribers still use the app

During the second week of this month it looked as though Instagram’s Threads platform was going to be a huge hit and a serious challenge to Elon Musk’s Twitter since re-branded as “X.” In the first five days, Threads had 100 million people sign up. Since subscribers to Threads must have an Instagram account, existing Instagram users were able to open a Threads account easily. But this means that anyone deleting their Threads account will have to delete their Instagram account as well.
But things have cooled off and as per Reuters, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a company Town Hall yesterday that more than half of the 100 million who signed up for Threads are no longer using the app. Meta, of course, owns Instagram. Reuters has heard an audio tape of the meeting during which Zuckerberg said that the retention rate on Threads was better than Meta executives expected although the executive did say that it was “not perfect.”
Zuckerberg, who called the drop in Threads usage “normal,” also said, “Obviously, if you have more than 100 million people sign up, ideally it would be awesome if all of them or even half of them stuck around. We’re not there yet.” He said that as more features are added to the platform, the retention rate will rise. Some of these upcoming features include a search function and a desktop version of Threads.

Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said that the platform needs more “retention-driving hooks” to create incentives for those who have stopped using Threads to return to the app. Cox said that “making sure people who are on the Instagram app can see important Threads” might help.

Earlier this week Threads added some new features to the iOS and Android apps including a “Following” feed that shows users posts from profiles that they are following with the most current post at the top. The other option, the “For You” feed, shows a mix of posts from profiles users follow mixed with recommended posts. To change feeds, tap on the Threads icon at the top of the display and swipe on the screen.

Other added features include post translations, new ways to filter notifications in Activity, a Follow button to quickly follow your followers back, and a quick way to approve new followers for those with a private account.