In an effort to increase usage of its fledgling social app Threads, Meta has begun automatically cross-posting Threads content directly to users’ Facebook and Instagram feeds without their consent.
According to an Oct. 23 Egadget report, the move has sparked backlash among some Threads users who intentionally use the app differently than Facebook and don’t want their intimate Threads posts being broadcast to their broader Facebook social circle.
Threads was designed to be an alternative to Twitter for sharing personal updates, photos, and videos with close friends and family. But engagement soon began to wane despite an initial surge in signups, reaching 100 million users within months of launch, according to analytics firm SimilarWeb.
In an apparent bid to reignite growth, Meta has steadily added features like editing and searching Threads over the past year
The latest tactic of repurposing Threads content on Facebook and Instagram feeds has seen increased downloads in recent weeks, according to a report by Insider. However, it’s rubbed some users the wrong way.
“We’ve launched an update to make it easier for people to see the latest content from Threads directly on Facebook and Instagram,” Meta wrote in response to a Threads user who asked how to opt out of the cross-posting. “But we’re listening to feedback like yours as we continue to build on this.” One user wrote, tagging the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri:
“Showing my Threads on Facebook might be a deal breaker and it makes me sad @Mosseri.”
For Meta, leveraging its family of apps to promote new features and products has become standard practice. Instagram Reels have long appeared in Facebook feeds despite complaints. And WhatsApp allows businesses to buy Facebook ads.
But forcibly exposing arguably private content to a broader audience opens a new can of worms for the company at a time when data privacy concerns already abound. And for Threads, it risks alienating users who signed up believing the app would be a private social space.
Meta will have to walk a fine line as it aims to boost Threads usage while maintaining user trust. Thus far, feedback suggests cross-posting intimate Threads content to Facebook without asking first misses the mark.
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