Mark Zuckerberg Admits More Than Half Of Users Have Left Threads

Meta Platforms plans to make its recently launched Twitter rival, Threads, much more ‘sticky’ to help retain its shrinking user base.

Reuters said it had listened into an internal town hall meeting between Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and staff, in which he admitted the honeymoon phase of Threads was now over.

Earlier this month Meta Platforms had launched its long awaited Threads app, to much fanfare from disgruntled Twitter users unhappy at Elon Musk’s controversial ownership of the platform.

Threads usage

Indeed, Threads witnessed surging user demand soon after its launch, and it quickly grew its users to 112 million .

The app has also recently been updated.

But now Mark Zuckerberg during the conference call with staff on Thursday, said the app lost more than half of its users in the weeks following its launch, Reuters reported.

That said, retention of users on the text-based app was better than executives had expected, though it was “not perfect,” Zuckerberg reportedly 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.

Zuckerberg reportedly said he considered the drop-off “normal” and expected retention to grow as the company adds more features to the app, including a desktop version and search functionality.

Meanwhile Chief Product Officer Chris Cox was quoted as saying that Meta is looking at adding more “retention-driving hooks” to entice users to return to the app, like “making sure people who are on the Instagram app can see important Threads.”

Zuckerberg also told employees on the call that he believed the company’s work on the augmented and virtual reality tech that would power the metaverse was “not massively ahead of schedule, but on track.”

The comments came a day after Meta pleased investors with a rosy revenue growth forecast, as well as a bump in advertising spend.

Elon Musk fight

During the call with staff, Zuckerberg reportedly responded to a question on the proposed “cage match” against Elon Musk, who had challenged him to a public fight which Zuckerberg accepted.

Image credit: Elon Musk

Zuckerberg said he was “not sure if it’s going to come together.”

Certainly the bad blood between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg is notable.

X Corp’s (owner of Twitter) lawyer Alex Spiro recently threatened to sue Meta in a letter to Zuckerberg, accusing Meta of the “wilful” misappropriation of trade secrets.

In the letter, Spiro alleged that Meta’s Threads was built by former Twitter employees “deliberately assigned” to develop a “copycat” app.

However Meta has been developing Threads since August 2019, but it does have its work cut out for it, if it seeks to topple Twitter (now known as X).

Twitter was known to have 229 million monthly active users as of May 2022 – the last time the firm publicly disclosed such a figure.

But last November Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter had around 260 million monetisable daily active users.

Mastodon meanwhile is said to have 1.7 million monthly active users, while Bluesky has surpassed 1 million downloads.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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