Meta is starting to ramp up its growth-hacking tactics for Threads in a bid to boost engagement on the Twitter competitor. The social network is promoting its newest app by cross-posting Threads posts to users’ Facebook feeds, the company confirmed Monday.
It’s a familiar move for Meta, which regularly uses the Facebook feed to promote new features, including those from its other apps. The company has inserted Instagram Reels into recommendations in Facebook’s feed , and also allows businesses on WhatsApp to buy ads that appear in Facebook feeds. But unlike those efforts, it seems that Threads promotions on Facebook are not optional.
“We’ve launched an update to make it easier for people to see the latest content from Threads directly on Facebook and Instagram,” the company wrote to a Threads user who asked how to keep their posts off of Facebook. “But we’re listening to feedback like yours as we continue to build on this.”
Meta is now using Facebook to boost Threads reach
This is a new “For you on Threads” feature showing at the top of the news feed pic.twitter.com/Sk6XK0ve9E
— Matt Navarra – Exiting X… Follow me on Threads (@MattNavarra) October 19, 2023
Meta began testing the promotion of Threads posts on Instagram in August, but the move to put posts on Facebook without providing an opt-out feature, seems to be more controversial. Some users are pointing out that they use Threads much differently than Facebook and may not want their Threads posts to be put in front of their Facebook friends.
We’ve reached out to Meta for more information about how it recommends Threads posts and if it intends to allow users to opt out of that kind of sharing. But the company has previously hinted that it would one day use its much larger apps to try and boost Threads. When Threads reached 100 million sign-ups shortly after it launched, Mark Zuckerberg that the growth had happened with “mostly organic demand” and that the company hadn’t “even turned on many promotions yet.” (Interestingly, that post has since been deleted.)
Threads’ initial explosive growth proved to be short lived, however, with engagement dropping considerably in the weeks that followed. Anecdotally, the service feels much more lively in recent weeks, and downloads have started to once again tick up, according to a recent report from .
But a report from analytics firm SimilarWeb, which tracks web traffic, suggests the company still has a lot of ground to make up. “In the US, where Threads attracted the most attention, September Threads usage on Android was down 40% from where it was in July,” senior insights manager David Carr in the report. Given those trends, and that Meta has been steadily adding new features like and , it’s maybe not all that surprising the company would now be trying to juice Threads’ growth, even if its tactics for doing so are unpopular.