Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has acknowledged that his company’s new social media platform, Threads, has lost more than half of its users since it launched earlier this month.
In a call to employees, Zuckerberg said that he expected retention to improve as new features were added to the app. However, he also acknowledged that the initial user drop-off was “normal” for new social media platforms.
Threads was criticized for its limited functionality when it launched. Meta has since added new features, such as separate “following” and “for you” feeds, and increased scope to translate posts into different languages.
The company’s chief product officer, Chris Cox, told staff that Meta was now focused on adding more “retention-driving hooks” to draw people back to the platform. He gave the example of “making sure people who are on the Instagram app can see important Threads.”
Zuckerberg also updated employees on the company’s enormous bet on a yet-to-be-created virtual reality world, called the Metaverse. He said that work on the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology that would power it was “not massively ahead of schedule, but on track.” However, he added that he didn’t anticipate it going mainstream until the next decade.
That prediction may intensify concerns that Meta has dedicated too much time and money to the Metaverse. Its Reality Labs division, which produces VR headsets and other products, has racked up multi-billion dollar losses.
The company as a whole though continues to perform well financially. Meta announced this week that it made a profit of $7.79 billion in the last quarter.
Zuckerberg also addressed one other headline-making issue: his proposed cage fight with fellow tech titan Elon Musk. From the safety of their keyboards, the two men indicated in June that they were both keen on a bout, even going so far as suggesting a venue in Las Vegas. However, when pressed about it on the call, Zuckerberg said he was “not sure if it’s going to come together.”