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Threads Rises to 130 Million Users, Seeing Steady Growth

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Meta’s Reportedly Exploring New Options To Reignite Threads Interest

Threads is growing, and engagement within Meta’s Twitter clone is on the rise, according to the latest insight shared by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg as part of the company’s Q4 2023 earnings announcement.

Zuckerberg said that Threads now has 130 million monthly active users, and is growing steadily.

As per Zuckerberg:

Threads now has more people actively using it today than it did during its initial launch peak, so that one’s I think on track to be a major success.”

Which is not overly surprising.

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In Meta’s Q3 earnings call, Zuckerberg announced that Threads was closing in on 100 million active users, just four months after its initial launch, and with the app also being made available to EU users in December, the expectation was that it would increase by around 26 million more actives from that region alone within the period.

I actually thought that Threads would be closer to 200 million at this stage. But again, we are still in the early stages of the app, and while the Threads team is refining its functionality, the fact that it’s been able to build an active community of 130 million is significant.

Though it also, inevitably, leads to a comparison with X, which Threads is trying to usurp as the top real-time discussion app.

X currently claims to have around 500 million monthly actives, so Threads is still only seeing around a quarter of its usage, but X also has years of embedded user behaviors and community building on its side. And while many have been less than impressed by Elon Musk’s changes at the former bird app, most, seemingly, are still attached to the platform for their interactions.

That’s also reflected in the top user engagement stats, comparing X to Threads, with half of the most followed profiles on X not even launching a Threads account. That suggests that Threads still has a way to go to become a more critical consideration, with sports communities, in particular, set to be hard to shift from X.

Unless, of course, they’re forced to.

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There have been rumors swirling this week that after Elon lost his $55 billion pay package from Tesla, that he could have difficulty paying X’s bills, which could lead to actual existential issues for the app.

I’d say that’s unlikely, but then again, the operating margins for X are still super tight, even with Musk’s drastic staff cuts and broader cost reduction measures. And with the platform’s ad revenue still down 50%, due to advertisers opting to distance themselves from Musk’s own controversial statements, its prospects are not great, and as such, any further impacts on that could be significant, depending on how its funding is structured.

Indeed, this week, AdWeek reported that X’s ad intake around the Super Bowl is down 55% among top brands.

It’s not overly fair to compare the two platforms, given Threads’ relative age, but it’s also the most logical comparison, given the Threads team’s focus, though Threads is also looking to take a different approach to engagement, which may separate the two platforms further over time.

On that front, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri recently pointed to future features coming to the app, including trending topics, lists, and more. That could help to make it a better facsimile of what Twitter once was, but at the same time, Mosseri has also warned that these types of highly requested updates are unlikely to influence user behavior in a significant way.

We’ll have to wait and see on that front, but essentially, Threads does seem to be building something that will provide value, with a solid base of active users from which it should now be able to expand over time.

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Can it expand enough to supersede X? There are still many challenges ahead of it, but the signs are positive at this stage.

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

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This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

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“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

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Instagram Tests Live-Stream Games to Enhance Engagement

Instagram’s testing out some new options to help spice up your live-streams in the app, with some live broadcasters now able to select a game that they can play with viewers in-stream.

As you can see in these example screens, posted by Ahmed Ghanem, some creators now have the option to play either “This or That”, a question and answer prompt that you can share with your viewers, or “Trivia”, to generate more engagement within your IG live-streams.

That could be a simple way to spark more conversation and interaction, which could then lead into further engagement opportunities from your live audience.

Meta’s been exploring more ways to make live-streaming a bigger consideration for IG creators, with a view to live-streams potentially catching on with more users.

That includes the gradual expansion of its “Stars” live-stream donation program, giving more creators in more regions a means to accept donations from live-stream viewers, while back in December, Instagram also added some new options to make it easier to go live using third-party tools via desktop PCs.

Live streaming has been a major shift in China, where shopping live-streams, in particular, have led to massive opportunities for streaming platforms. They haven’t caught on in the same way in Western regions, but as TikTok and YouTube look to push live-stream adoption, there is still a chance that they will become a much bigger element in future.

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Which is why IG is also trying to stay in touch, and add more ways for its creators to engage via streams. Live-stream games is another element within this, which could make this a better community-building, and potentially sales-driving option.

We’ve asked Instagram for more information on this test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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