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Exciting and new technologies always grab the world’s attention with the promise of improving lives. However, not all technologies can deliver on those promises in the long run.

Meta Platforms’ Threads app is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Despite an initial jump in popularity, Threads ultimately failed to establish a solid user base and has since been abandoned.

Let’s explore why Threads couldn’t sustain its initial success and what lessons we can learn from its downfall.

The Start

Threads was an app introduced by Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, in July 2023. The app was designed to complement Instagram, allowing users to connect and communicate with close friends more intimately.

Threads provided a dedicated space for users to share texts, photos and videos with a smaller group of people, away from the noise and crowds of larger social media platforms, and with the growing crowdedness of Instagram.

However, Threads’ success was short-lived. Just a few months after its launch, the app began to lose users and engagement.

The Decline

Several factors contributed to Threads’ decline, including limited functionality, lack of innovation and the dominance of other social media platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter.

While Threads was designed to complement Instagram, it lacked many of the features that made its parent app so popular. For example, Threads didn’t include Instagram’s robust collection of filters, editing tools and stickers.

Additionally, Threads’ focus on intimate connections meant users couldn’t easily share content with a broader audience, limiting the app’s overall appeal.

Threads also failed to innovate and add new features over time. While the app introduced a few new capabilities, such as the ability to share music and create “auto-status” updates based on user’s location and activity, these additions weren’t enough to keep users engaged and attract new ones. Without a steady stream of exciting features and improvements, users quickly lost interest in the app.

While Threads ultimately failed to sustain its initial success, the app’s concept and early popularity highlight the demand for more intimate and personal social media experiences. By addressing the challenges that led to Threads’ downfall and focusing on user engagement, innovation and differentiation, we can improve on and create technologies that’ll provide value and support to different aspects of our lives and social interactions.

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