Threads Adds View Counts on Posts

Threads has taken inspiration from Elon Musk’s X project, with the addition of view counts on individual Threads, in order to help users understand broader reach and engagement.

Threads view counts

As you can see in this example, Threads users are now able to see how many times their posts have been viewed in the app, with a count displayed at the top of the expanded display when you tap on an individual thread.

Instagram and Threads chief Adam Mosseri says that this is important contextual info to help people understand their Threads reach, beyond the basic engagement stats.

Which is much the same as what X said when it implemented the same back in 2022, though it still seems like a potentially harmful metric, as opposed to being a growth driver.

My criticism of view counts is that while they might help you understand that more people are seeing your posts than you think (so you’re not being shadowbanned or restricted), the risk is that they’ll also show that many, many people are indeed seeing your posts, yet they’re finding them utterly unengaging.

I mean, do you really want to know that a few thousand people saw your post, and not a single one of them felt compelled to give it a like? I’m not sure that’ll be the motivational boost that the Threads team expects, but then again, if you really like attention, and you want to ensure you get more of it, then knowing that lots of people are at least seeing your content could be a factor in keeping you sharing.

Which is really what this is, a measure of the attention you’re getting, in order to motivate you to post more engaging stuff if you want them to do more than just read your updates.

Will that work? I don’t know, but I do know that if I were posting every day, and seeing that my posts are reaching a few thousand people, yet none of them were engaging, I’d probably just stop posting, as opposed to coming up with a better approach.

And when you also consider that the vast majority of social media users never post or engage, with only a fraction producing all of the content, it seems like it could be more of a disincentive than a driver of more activity.

But then again, most users will simply ignore it, while those seeking to build their presence will have more info to help improve their strategy.

So maybe it’s a good thing. It really comes down to your individual perspective.