Meta is releasing a web version of Threads, as it attempts to revive the social media platform.

The rival to X, formerly known as Twitter, enjoyed meteoric growth when it launched in July.

However, users then abandoned it just as rapidly, partly due to its limited functionality.

Meta says the web version is part of a drive to deliver new features but experts warn more needs to be done to rebuild customer interest.

In a post on the platform – accompanied by what he said was a picture of him building Threads for the web – Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg said it would be “rolling out over the next few days.”

Users will be able to post a thread, view their feed and interact with other people’s threads.

However other aspects of the mobile app will not be available on the web initially.

For example, users won’t be able to edit their profile or send a thread to the direct messenger feature of its sister platform, Instagram.

Meta says it will add more functionality in the coming weeks as it seeks to make the web and mobile experience of the app the same.

Threads raced to more than 100 million users in the week following its launch but by the end of July that figure had more than halved.

The tech giant, which also owns Facebook and WhatsApp, will hope this announcement will help reverse that trend.

“Meta made the choice to launch Threads in a very basic form,” said Rebecca McGrath, associate director for media and technology at Mintel.

“This has frustrated users who checked out the platform following its much-hyped launch, and were expecting it to be a ready-to-go alternative to Twitter,” she added.

“Offering a web version is a very important step. However, it still has a way to go.”

The platform still does not have a search function – something users have complained about and experts say it needs if it is to really take on Elon Musk’s X.

“Meta are going to have to work to roll out a vastly improved search functionality to let users find topic-based communities to really draw back the crowd who are looking to replace Twitter,” Tama Leaver, professor of internet studies at Curtin University in Australia, told the BBC.

“On that front, Meta’s reluctance to implement hashtags, especially as they’re already on Instagram, seems an odd choice when really that’s the single feature that’s most synonymous with X and the function that would most likely convince users to come back and give Threads a second look.”

Prof Leaver also said Threads’ attempts to dethrone X might be aided by the controversies that continue to dog the platform previously known as Twitter.

On Monday it was criticised for failing to remove a Holocaust-denying post quickly enough. Mr Musk’s plans to remove the block feature have also drawn criticism, with some saying it will make it harder to stop abusive messages.

Rebecca McGrath from Mintel agrees, saying the “continued controversial moves” at X would “keep up the desire” for an alternative.

“This means people will be ready to engage with Threads once again when it has a more advanced version,” she told the BBC.

“Time, though, is still of the essence for Threads.”

Source: BBC Technology

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