Meta, the parent company of social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has taken a step to breathe new life into its microblogging platform, Threads, often seen as a contender against Elon Musk’s Twitter, now rebranded as X. In an effort to regain its user base, Meta has launched a web version of Threads that doesn’t require users to download an app.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, announced the desktop version’s release with a touch of nostalgia, sharing an image of his younger self in a dorm room, captioned, “Actual footage of me building Threads for the web. Rolling out over the next few days.”
This web-based functionality brings Threads closer to what X offers. When Threads first launched in July, it experienced a surge in sign-ups, with a remarkable 100 million new users joining in just one week. However, this initial enthusiasm dwindled quickly. Within three weeks, the number of daily active users plummeted significantly from a peak of 49 million to just 12 million, according to internet traffic analysts Similarweb.
Threads made its debut during a period of turbulence on Twitter, with Elon Musk implementing significant staff cuts and making substantial changes to moderation and functionality, drawing criticism from users and advertisers alike. Meta’s response to Twitter’s instability was Threads, introduced shortly after Musk’s controversial decision to cap the number of daily tweets users could view.
Zuckerberg’s vision for Threads was to create a platform for real-time updates and public conversations, and its interface closely resembles that of X, where users can engage, repost, and like each other’s content.
The rivalry between Meta and X has persisted, with Zuckerberg recently stating that he’s moving on from discussing a possible cage fight with Musk, accusing the Tesla CEO of not being “serious” about the idea. The proposed fight initially emerged in response to Meta’s efforts to launch a Twitter competitor.
Zuckerberg’s concluding remark on the matter was, “If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me. Otherwise, time to move on.”