Why Trending Topics are Crucial for the Success of Threads

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri recently emphasized the importance of increasing the active user count on the Threads app to promote its growth. While he downplayed the significance of trending topics, claiming they would only benefit a small group of power users, it is crucial to recognize the value of these features for the overall success of the platform. In this article, we will delve into the reasons why trending topics and other real-time engagement tools are necessary to attract a broader user base and encourage active participation on Threads.

With 130 million monthly active users compared to the 500 million on the competing platform, X, Mosseri acknowledges that Threads has a long way to go to win over a critical mass of real-time social fans. To overcome this challenge, the priority should be expanding Threads’ audience. When more people start using the app, they will naturally pay more attention to the conversations happening within it. Increasing the app’s general appeal is therefore essential to drive engagement and foster a sense of community among users.

While Mosseri argues that driving discussion is the first step towards encouraging users to switch to Threads, it is crucial to consider the significance of real-time engagement in this process. One of the major holdouts on X are sports fans, who have a deeply ingrained engagement process around live events. Real-time engagement plays a crucial role in such interactions. If Threads fails to provide an easy way for sports fans to follow game developments as they happen, it becomes a major obstacle for them to consider making the switch. Therefore, enabling trending topics and chronological search options is vital to enhance the immediacy and relevance of conversations on the app.

In addition to sports discussions, trending topics and chronological search options are equally important for other popular topics such as reality TV, news events, and awards shows. The dopamine hit that individuals experience from engagement on their posts, which comes from notifications and interactions, is a significant motivating factor for users. However, if Threads lacks the functionality to keep users updated on the latest developments, it diminishes the potential for engagement. By incorporating trending topics and chronological search options, Threads can facilitate users staying up to date on their preferred subjects and foster more meaningful conversations.

One concern that prevents the Threads team from implementing trending topics and chronological search options is the fear of spammers hijacking these features. While it is crucial to address this issue and ensure the integrity of the platform, it should not hinder the introduction of valuable tools. Moderation and filtering mechanisms can be implemented to combat spam and maintain a positive user experience. The benefits of trending topics and chronological search options outweigh the risks posed by spammers.

The Role of Power Users

Acknowledging Mosseri’s perspective on the importance of power users is essential. These users have a significant influence on the success of any social media platform. In the case of X, approximately 80% of its users only consume content without actively engaging with it. This emphasizes the critical role of appealing to power users who contribute to generating content and driving activity on the app. By catering to their needs and providing features like trending topics and real-time engagement tools, Threads can ensure the continued growth and participation of power users.

While Mosseri’s experience in managing Facebook’s News Feed and Instagram provides valuable insights, it is crucial to consider the potential limitations of his growth strategy for Threads. By underestimating the impact of trending topics and real-time engagement tools, there is a risk of overlooking significant opportunities for growth. Expanding the app’s audience and incorporating highly requested features are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they work together synergistically, offering an enhanced user experience and encouraging broader adoption of the platform.

Trending topics and real-time engagement tools are pivotal to the success of Threads. By expanding its audience and facilitating active participation through features like chronological search options and trending topics, Threads can establish itself as the real-time platform of choice. While addressing concerns such as spam is crucial, it should not hinder the implementation of valuable tools. By listening to user feedback and delivering the functionalities they desire, Threads can drive engagement and foster a thriving community of users.

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