Meta’s Threads Gets Desktop Version as Engagement Falls

Meta is reportedly preparing a web version of Threads, its platform intended to rival Twitter.

As The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported late Sunday (Aug. 20), a desktop version of Threads is something users had been hoping for. Threads debuted to much fanfare last month, but soon saw its engagement numbers plummet. 

Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said last week on his Instagram profile that the web version of Threads would launch soon following internal testing. Sources familiar with the project told the WSJ that the launch could come early this week.

“It’s a little bit buggy right now, you don’t want it just yet,” Mosseri said. “As soon as it is ready we will share it with everybody else.”

PYMNTS has contacted Meta for comment but has not yet received a reply.

Meta announced its Twitter/X alternative earlier this year, and debuted Threads in July. At first, it was a huge hit, getting 100 million downloads in its first five days. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spoken of his ambition to have the platform exceed Twitter’s 300 million-plus user count.

“There should be a public conversations app with 1 billion-plus people on it,” he wrote on Threads on July 6. “Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.”

However, engagement with the platform had begun to fall within weeks, with the average time users spent on the app dropping from 19 minutes to four by July 21, per an earlier WSJ report, citing findings from digital data and analytics company Similarweb.

The same report included estimates by intelligence firm Sensor Tower, showing that Threads’ daily active user rate had fallen 70% from its peak to 13 million.

By mid-August, Similarweb had found — per a Financial Times report — that Threads’ daily active users on Android mobile devices had declined from 49 million to 11 million.

Speaking with PYMNTS last month, Amias Gerety, partner at QED Investors, argued that Threads could provide its users with a “decluttering effect, which might be cleansing for people,” as they look to rethink their own algorithmic history.

“Now I can start fresh with the knowledge I have about the persona I want to project to the algorithm,” Gerety told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster.

However, he argued that there’s a downside for people who rely on social media to share content and earn a living.

“Right now, every person who’s in the content game is saying, wait a minute, I rank as the 15 millionth most important content creator on Twitter. If I jump to Threads now, I could be the 500th most important,” said Gerety.