On the 5th of July 2023, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote, “Let’s do this. Welcome to Threads” as he launched his brand new Twitter alternative for the world. Zuckerberg said almost 10 million users registered for the service within the first seven hours of release.
After almost a week, celebrities, politicians, athletes, academics, and ordinary ‘netizens’ have flocked to the platform with 100 million users already on board, according to Quiver Quantitative’s Threads Tracker
What is Threads?
Threads is an app developed by the Instagram team to share text updates with your followers, and yes, it’s a like-for-like imitation of the legendary Twitter app. According to Meta, the Threads app offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.
The Threads app allows you to connect with favorite personalities and users with similar interests. Threads users create accounts with their existing Instagram login details, and the app generates a personalized profile based on interests & people you follow.
Will Threads Challenge Twitter’s Dominance
Ever since Elon Musk acquired Twitter on the 14th of April, 2022, for $44 billion (USD), the platform has been surrounded by controversy. The Guardian predicted in December 2022 that Twitter would lose 32 million users in two years, quoting an increase in technical issues and proliferation of offensive content as the primary reasons you can download apk for thread app from apkmaterial..
Even with Elon Musk claiming in a BBC interview that user engagement was at a record high and advertisers were returning to the platform, Similar Web’s senior insights manager David Carr commented on ZDNet, “We’re not seeing it.” A PEW research group Twitter survey also discovered that a quarter of users are “not very or at all likely” to stay on the platform in a year’s time.
Upon the release of the Threads app, Mark Zuckerberg published a trolling tweet on his official Twitter account announcing that he was planning to come after Musk’s beloved free speech platform and had copied the app concept.
— Mark Zuckerberg (@finkd) July 6, 2023</a
It may sound unprecedented that someone as vocal as Elon Musk refused to Tweet or comment on the release of Threads. But, he didn’t hold back in comments sections as users began the onslaught on the Meta-owned clone of Twitter:
Accurate assessment. Threads is just Instagram minus pics, which makes no sense, given that thirst pics are the main reason people use that app.
How many times have you read comments on Insta pics & wished there were more? Personally, never.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 8, 2023
Social Media consultant & industry analyst Matt Navarra claimed in an interview that Threads will challenge Twitter primarily because of the low ‘people satisfaction’ on Elon Musk’s platform. He established that the app’s link with Instagram will allow it to gather a vast user base, allowing users to find their favorite accounts to follow and find familiarity thanks to the similar interface as Twitter.
The Wall Street Journal’s senior technology columnist Joanna Stern commented on CNBC, “I think it’s good … it’s really good … but.” She said Threads is still not there yet and needs some innovation to bypass Twitter, especially regarding the Ad experience.
Yahoo Finance’s technology Editor Daniel Howley established in his report that it’s not clear if Threads will overtake Twitter or even put up a fight. He comments that it’s not the app features that define the experience, but the people you follow there build the real experience. Tech journalist Alex Kantrowitz also discussed on CNBC that Meta had taken the Reels algorithm and applied it to a Twitter-like interface.
When asked if Threads could be the Twitter killer, Activate consulting CEO Michael Wolf claimed on CNBC, “I don’t think so at all.” He explained that first, Meta has to convince the 10% of Twitter mega influencers who contribute 90% of Tweets to join jump platforms. Second, he explains that, like Reels, Threads is only an extension to the Instagram app; nothing is new here.
Will Facebook’s new “Twitter killer” Threads actually kill Twitter … or just create a 2nd platform alongside it?
— Brian Sullivan (@SullyCNBC) July 5, 2023
Sherilyn Naidoo, the policy advisor for the big tech accountability team at Amnesty International, discussed on Al-Jazeera TV that it is “another inadequately regulated” big tech product that replaces another with the same pervasive surveillance business model.
Sarah Kreps, a Professor, Author & Founder of the Technology Policy Institute at Cornell University, commented that she tried navigating the Threads app and simply chose to return to Twitter. She established that since the features, the critical mass of users, and news are not available on Threads, it’s just better to stay on Twitter, “I was not impressed,” commented Krepes.
Delia Cai writes in her Vanity Fair column that Threads is currently more boring than Twitter and slightly better than Instagram. So given they go the same route as Instagram, Meta will eventually flood endless feeds with Ads with posts crammed around them.
Rebecca Jennings, senior Vox correspondent, writes that in its current form, Threads will not kill Twitter. She claims Threads is Twitter for people who are scared of the Twitter ecosphere; it’s neither an upgrade nor an innovation in the social space. Jennings discusses that Threads is ideal for those who addictively post on Instagram, and with immense content saturation across platforms, pretty much all of these have boring content.
As an avid Twitter user, I also downloaded the Threads app and signed up. It’s a very familiar experience, yes, but with some nuts & bolts missing. In my first 10 minutes of using the app, I was assured that this is not a Twitter alternative yet.
The Threads algorithm is absolutely “confused” right now! It keeps displaying posts from my Instagram friends & followers (some of whom I don’t even follow back) and other miscellaneous profiles the algorithm ‘thinks’ I might be interested in.’
Secondly, it’s nice to have a bigger limit for Twee… I mean Threads. Five hundred characters are quite ample for someone like me who rarely posts anything on their feed. The BBC reports that Threads will soon introduce a dedicated feed from followers like the one on Twitter.
I haven’t used Instagram for over four years; I don’t like the app, which means those profile preferences are obsolete. By signing up with the same preferences & login, I have to mute every irrelevant post to get a cleaner feed or save hours by going back to using Twitter.
Like all the journalists & professionals we have mentioned above, in my opinion, as a digital marketing professional, Threads are boring right now; there is no surety that influencers & brands will join, it’s a clone of Twitter, and in its current state, it’s not challenging anything. My personal views are reflected in this very humorous tweet by the famed Elon Musk Parody Twitter account:
I spent $44 billion on this app, and now Lizard Boy just decided to hit copy and paste.
It’s personal now.
See you in the cage, Zuck.
— Elon Musk (Parody) (@ElonMuskAOC) July 7, 2023
A big fight has broken out; Elon Musk’s lawyers have already sent a cease & desist order to Zuckerberg over the launch of Threads. Musk has claimed that Zuckerberg hired ex-Twitter employees to create a clone of his platform.
While the war of billionaires has broken out, Threads is on its way to delivering core features, including search, direct messages, hashtags, and follower feeds for its users. After accumulating close to 100 million users in 5 days, Threads is currently pilot-testing user experiences to bring out a more enhanced UI & UX.
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