Will trending topics be the game-changer Threads needs?

Will trending topics be the game-changer Threads needs?

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has emphasized the importance of growing Threads’ active user count as the key driver for broader adoption of the platform. Mosseri believes that features like trending topics will not significantly alter the trajectory of Threads, but rather be important for a small group of power users. The ultimate goal for Threads is to reach more people and expand its overall community, as this is the most effective way to increase reach and enhance the platform’s value proposition.

With 130 million monthly active users, Threads has a long way to go to compete with rival platform X, which boasts 500 million monthly active users. Mosseri believes that by increasing the app’s general appeal and attracting more users, Threads will become the real-time platform of choice. The logic here is that more people using the app will lead to increased attention towards the conversations happening on Threads. Given Mosseri’s experience in managing Facebook’s News Feed and Instagram, it is reasonable to assume that he understands the best path to take for Threads’ growth.

While Mosseri downplays the significance of trending topics, it is worth considering their potential impact. Real-time engagement tools such as trending topics and chronological search sorting options can play a crucial role in drawing in and retaining users, particularly within specific communities like sports fans. These tools enable users to stay updated on the latest developments and enhance their engagement experience. However, concerns about spammers seem to be holding the Threads team back from implementing these features. Nevertheless, it is likely that Threads will eventually introduce trending topics and chronological search, as they can greatly enhance the immediacy and appeal of conversation within the app.

While Mosseri acknowledges the importance of power users, who make up around 20% of the user base but drive most of the content on X, he seems to overlook the complementary nature of trending topics and power users. Power users play a critical role in increasing activity and engaging with others. Similarly, trending topics can attract users and facilitate meaningful discussions around live events, reality TV shows, news events, and more. Both aspects are necessary for Threads’ growth and ensuring that the app remains a vibrant and engaging platform.

While Mosseri’s expertise is not in doubt, it is worth considering the apparent limited thinking on growth in the context of Threads. By solely focusing on expanding the user base and ignoring the potential of trending topics and other engagement tools, there may be missed opportunities for growth and increased adoption. Threads should strive to offer a comprehensive experience that caters to both power users and a wider audience.

The Threads team is currently working on developing trending topics and other highly requested features. It remains to be seen how these additions will impact the app and its user base. Nevertheless, it is crucial to strike a balance between attracting new users and catering to the needs of existing power users. By finding this equilibrium, Threads can elevate itself as the platform of choice for real-time social engagement.

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