Within the first seven hours of Meta’s Threads launching, the social media landscape witnessed a significant shift with more than 7 million users signing up, the brand-new app from Meta, attracted ten million users. This surge was announced by Mark Zuckerberg, the Chief of Meta.
Threads is being positioned as a ‘friendly’ competitor to the Musk-owned Twitter. This comes after Twitter underwent several changes following its acquisition by Elon Musk in October, leading to dissatisfaction among many users.
A Close Encounter with Threads
Threads, like Twitter, is a platform that allows users to post updates up to 500 characters. The array of features it offers bear a striking resemblance to Twitter’s, enabling an easy transition for potential users who are considering a shift.
Zuckerberg, in an earlier statement, emphasized the need for maintaining a ‘friendly’ atmosphere on the platform, believing it to be a key ingredient for success. However, Musk retorted by suggesting that dealing with anonymous attacks on Twitter is better than succumbing to the artificial happiness fostered by Instagram.
Is Threads the Future of Public Conversations?
The potential for Threads to surpass Twitter was highlighted by Zuckerberg in a Thread. He noted that Twitter missed out on the opportunity to create a public conversations platform that could accommodate a billion plus users, a goal Threads is ambitiously pursuing.
But with the trailing competition and absolute redundancy of today’s content, perhaps threads will end up serving a public that is already ingrained in the Instagram culture and far from the new Twitter society.
Data Privacy and Threads
Critics are skeptical about the volume of data the app might use. This could possibly extend to health, financial, and browsing data linked to user identities, as per the Apple App Store. Despite these concerns, Threads is available for download in over 100 countries, including the UK. However, it remains unavailable in the EU due to regulatory concerns.
Read more about data & privacy in the social media landscape
Threads: A Natural Evolution of Social Media
The application is referred to as an ‘initial version’ by Meta, with plans for additional features that would allow interaction with users on other social media apps like Mastodon. Aiming to merge the strengths of Instagram with a text-based platform, Meta plans to ensure that Threads is more than just a standalone app.
Users can log in to Threads using their Instagram account. While the Instagram username carries over, users have the option to customize their profile specifically for Threads. Moreover, they can choose to be private on Instagram, but public on Threads.
The Threat to Twitter
The launch of Threads comes in the wake of various criticisms surrounding Meta’s business practices. Accusations of putting ‘profits over safety’, as stated by Meta whistleblower Frances Haugen, and the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica have certainly made waves in the digital world. Despite these challenges, Threads holds a significant advantage due to its direct connection with Instagram.
Twitter has been growing in a complete different direction from its social media counterparts and so might actually be untouched from all the hype. Just yesterday, Twitter announced a pending lawsuit against Meta, due to their scrapping practices on Twitter, which despite being the “name of the game” is infact illegal.
Threads: The User Experience
Threads allows users to share their posts on Instagram, and vice versa, including links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long. The feed, or ‘threads’ as referred to by Meta, consists of posts from followed accounts along with recommended content. Threads also offers control over mentions and filters out replies containing specific words.
Even with strong ties to Instagram, the media has primarily focused on Threads’ similarities with Twitter. Some investors have even started labeling the app as a ‘Twitter killer’.
Read more about what makes Twitter different
With Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk, limiting the number of daily tweets on his platform and pushing users towards Twitter Blue, a subscription service, there is a growing unrest among Twitter users. Many have expressed dissatisfaction with the platform and Musk’s leadership, criticizing his erratic behavior and political views. This has created a window of opportunity for Threads to capture a significant share of the disgruntled Twitter users.
A huge issue is that now that you are Threads member if ever you choose to leave the platform your Instagram account will go with it. You heard that right folks, its a both or nothing situation, where we have no clue how this new platform stands to evolve.
Check out this article on Techcrunch that talks about the intricacies of this dark feature
Getting on Threads
Getting on Threads is simple. The platform requires an existing Instagram username to sign up. Users can maintain their Instagram username or customize their profile to align specifically with Threads.
Threads: The Inside Story
Once inside, Threads offers a Twitter-like microblogging experience, but with a unique Instagram twist. The app features likes, reposts, replies, and ‘thread’ quotes, along with counters for the number of likes and replies a post has garnered.
Posts are capped at 500 characters, offering a greater limit than Twitter’s 280-character threshold, and can include links, photos, and videos of up to five minutes. Moreover, Threads has done away with the concept of hashtags, setting it apart from Twitter.
Impact of Threads
While Threads offers an experience similar to Twitter, its association with Instagram gives it a unique edge. The seamless integration of these two popular platforms presents a new kind of social media experience, potentially resulting in a cultural shift in how we interact online.
Threads versus Twitter
Threads, with its features remarkably similar to Twitter, offers a refreshing user experience, particularly at a time when Twitter is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate under Musk’s stewardship. As dissatisfaction grows among Twitter users, Threads is ready to capitalize, offering a social media experience that is both familiar and novel.
In summary, with Threads, Meta and Zuckerberg have thrown down the gauntlet to Twitter. As it stands, the user experience offered by Threads might just be the breath of fresh air that disillusioned Twitter users have been waiting for.
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