Meta Adds New Features to Threads, Mastodon Verification
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Meta Adds New Features to Threads, Mastodon Verification

Meta plans to implement more features to Threads in order to further drive user engagement.
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Meta has rolled out new features for its new social media platform Threads, launched as a direct competitor to Elon Musk’s X (formerly Twitter). The slew of new features comes amid a sharp decline in Threads’ user retention numbers, with over half of its users dropping off the app in the weeks following its launch.

Threads Adds New Features

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some newly-added features to the platform. The latest update includes the ability to send posts directly to Instagram DMs, the option to add custom alt text for images and an enhanced mention button. 

However, integrating with Mastodon, a decentralized social network, is the most notable addition. Meta has introduced a verification process that allows Threads users to verify their profiles on Mastodon and other services supporting the fediverse, such as Wikipedia, Gravatar, and Flipboard.

Users need to connect their Threads and Mastodon accounts by adding reciprocal links as part of the verification process. Users must first add their Mastodon profile to their Threads profile and then insert their Threads profile link into one of the “Extra fields” in their Mastodon profile. 

After saving the changes, the Mastodon server will verify the association between the two profiles. This verification only confirms ownership of the Threads profile and provides no additional information or access.

In a recent Threads post, Meta’s Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, claimed that the update is a step toward adopting open standards and the fediverse. He also revealed that an early version of Threads has been tested internally, and a fully functional desktop version could be released in the coming weeks.

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Meta Strives to Enhance User Retention Rates

The recent updates are part of Meta’s strategy to enhance user retention rates for Threads. Following its highly anticipated launch, Threads experienced a significant drop in active user numbers, which saw half of its 100 million-plus users drop off the app following its debut. 

However, Zuckerberg has assured employees that this decline is normal, citing industry averages for app retention. “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 told employees, as reported by Reuters.

To entice users back to the platform, Meta plans to implement more features that drive user engagement, including integrating Threads with other popular Meta-owned apps like Instagram. Adding the “Send on Instagram” feature is a prime example of Meta’s retention-driven approach. 

This new feature allows Threads users to share threads directly to Instagram DMs, potentially tempting recipients to reopen Threads or sign up for the app. By ensuring cross-platform accessibility, Meta hopes to revitalize the user base and reverse the decline in retention. 

Additionally, Threads now includes features such as the ability to mention profiles in a thread and the option to add and edit alt text for multimedia posts. The latter benefits blind and low-vision users who utilize screen readers.

While some media outlets have deemed Threads a failed venture, industry statistics suggest otherwise. Most apps struggle to achieve even 50% retention rates in the weeks after launch, and the average retention rate for app installations across various categories drops to a mere 5.7% after 30 days. 

Threads, on the other hand, remains relatively stable despite lacking a fully functional web app. Meta’s extensive resources and commitment to the long game provide additional hope for the future success of Threads in an ever-evolving social media landscape.

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