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Threads Launches API To Facilitate Broader Posting and Analytics Options

Will this spark the beginning of a new explosion in Threads posts?

Today, Meta has announced that the Threads A.P.I. is now available to all developers, which will enable creators and publishers to schedule posts, manage replies, and more via third party apps.

As per Meta:

People can now publish posts via the A.P.I., fetch their own content, and leverage our reply management capabilities to set reply and quote controls, retrieve replies to their posts, hide, unhide or respond to specific replies.”

In addition to this, the A.P.I. will also include access to selected Threads metrics, including post views, post likes, replies, reposts, and quotes. The A.P.I. also includes follower count data, as well as follower demographics for your account.

Which is a massive, and much-requested update, which will make it much easier for bigger publishers in particular to prioritize Threads, by providing them with performance data for planning. It’ll also make it easier to manage Threads posting within their broader workflow, and could, as noted, lead to a whole lot more posts coming into the Threads system.

Meta’s been testing out the Threads A.P.I. with selected developers over the past three months, providing it with insight on how to refine and improve the process, and provide more valuable, useful elements.

And now, it’s moving to the next stage, as Threads continues to grow, and become a more viable alternative in the social media sphere.  

Though it remains to be seen whether Threads will truly catch on and become a significant competitor for attention.

Threads is now up to 150 million monthly active users, which is a huge amount in raw numbers, and a massive achievement for the Twitter alternative app. But it’s still nowhere near X’s 550 million monthly actives (note: Elon Musk recently claimed that X is up to 600 million M.A.U., but without evidence of such), and many key communities remain attached to X for real-time engagement and updates, with sports communities, in particular, still seemingly embedded in the app.

If Threads wants to compete with X, then it’ll need to put more emphasis on real-time updates, which it’s been somewhat hesitant to do, though it has now added “Recent” sorting options to facilitate more connection to live events and happenings.

That’s key to Threads’ success. Meta’s repeatedly noted that it wants to make Threads more positive version of what Twitter eventually had become, before Elon Musk took over at the app, and in doing so, it’s trying to avoid some of the same pitfalls, like incentivizing political engagement and facilitating spammy behavior.

But live discussion is what Twitter was all about, and Threads needs to lean into that to maximize its success.

Adding real-time sports scores is another step in this direction, and an A.P.I., again, will make it easier for publishers to prioritize Threads within their workflow, even if Meta isn’t exactly opening the doors to publishers this time around.

Though the de-prioritization of political content could end up being an impediment, and really, Threads growth has slowed a lot, considering that it reached 130 million active users back in February.

That means that over the first seven months of its existence, Threads added 18.6 million new users per month. That’s slowed to 5 million per month since, so while Threads is gaining traction in a broader sense, and does seem to be seeing more engagement and activity, it’s not riding a huge growth wave anymore, and its initial novelty isn’t a driver at this stage.

As such, it probably needs an A.P.I. to keep things moving, and it’ll also need to find new ways to boost usage once again, if it wants to really challenge X for audience.

Maybe it can, and maybe this is a key step. But it still has a long way to go.

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