December 8, 2023

It looks like Meta may be pumping the brakes on one of its more aggressive, and unpopular, growth-hacking tactics for Threads. The company appears to be working on a new privacy setting so Threads users can opt-out of having their posts to Facebook and Instagram feeds.

The unreleased feature was reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, who often uncovers early versions of social media features before they officially launch. Paluzzi shared screenshots of a new “suggesting posts on other apps” toggle in Threads’ privacy settings.

The feature comes barely a week after the company that it was promoting users’ Threads posts in Facebook feeds in an effort to boost Threads. While Meta has used similar tactics to promote its other apps in the past, the move has been widely unpopular among Threads users, many of whom are not active on Facebook and see the promotions as an intrusive overreach. Meta said last week it was “listening to feedback” in response to user complaints about not being able to opt out.

Notably, it appears as if Meta still intends to automatically enable cross-posting as a default setting. “If your profile is public, your posts may be suggested on other apps so people can discover and follow you,” the opt-out screen states.

The back and forth over the feature comes as Meta has steadily ramped up its efforts to boost Threads growth. The Twitter clone has been growing again in recent weeks, and currently has about monthly users. Mark Zuckerberg recently said he sees a path for the app to become Meta’s next billion-user service. But in order to reach that many people, the company will need to lean hard on its other apps to attract new sign-ups.

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