Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have heard of Threads by now. If not, it’s time to get educated.
Threads is Meta’s mirror image of Twitter. It’s a microblogging platform that allows users to share thoughts using text, image or video.
Capitalising On Twitter’s Downfall
The timing of Threads’ release couldn’t have been better. Their main competitor, Twitter, had caused major upset by overhauling the way it worked a few days prior.
What Happened To Twitter?
On the 30th June 2023, Twitter restricted users, so only those who are logged into an account can see Tweets. It also limited the ability for any unverified (free) registered user to read more than 1,000 posts per day. Those with Twitter Blue verification are limited to 8,000 posts.
Elon Musk, owner of Twitter, announced that this was a ‘temporary emergency measure’ used to reduce the amount of data scraping from the platform. The update means that bots can no longer access Twitter, including Google crawlers. This dramatically reduced the amount of Tweets appearing in Google search results. Musk has not commented on how long this ‘temporary measure’ may stay in place.
With #Twitterdown trending, what better time is there to launch a brand new app that competes on nearly every level with Twitter?
What Is Threads?
Threads is yet another app owned by the powerhouse that is Meta. Meta also own Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, so if Threads manage to take the place of Twitter, they’ll have taken down their only real competitor.
What Happens When You Join Threads?
You’ll be prompted to log in with your Instagram account. From there, you can choose to follow everyone you already follow on there in Threads. This makes the set-up easy, as you only really need to press a few buttons.
The simple integration with Instagram means people benefit from having populated feeds from the start. Feeds are also full of contributions from people they care about, so it’s easy to feel connected and part of the Threads community. With over 30 million users joining within the first 24 hours, it’s unlikely that anyone will have an empty feed for long.
What Is Threads Missing?
There are a few features that Threads doesn’t yet have when comparing it to Twitter. Direct messaging isn’t yet available, hashtags don’t exist, and there’s no way to customise the timeline. Threads appear algorithmically, so the only way to modify what you see is to unfollow people.
Are these things essential to the enjoyment of the app? No. But it’s likely that they’ll come in future. Mark Zuckerberg has described the app as being in its ‘initial verison’, so watch this space for developments.
Who’s On Threads?
Within a few short hours, Threads became populated with notable figures and big brands. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Shakira and Kris Jenner have been active on the platform already. You’ll also find some of your favourite brands on there. See one of our favourite Threads from Marmite. We think it’s a great example of taking on the challenge of social media marketing on a new app, while still having fun with it and keeping the message on-brand.
What’s Bad About Threads?
It’s not currently running in the EU – which suggests that their privacy regulations aren’t quite as stringent as they probably should be. Threads hasn’t released in the EU because Meta are being cautious. They’ve had issues with EU data protection rules before, so they probably don’t want to risk that happening again.
Although the seamless integration with Instagram is very useful for most users, it could pose a security risk. Importing user data for advertising preferences from platform to platform is not permitted in the EU.
Another issue that worries users is that there’s currently no way to remove a Threads account without also deleting its associated Instagram account. You can, however, deactivate the account. This is effectively the same as removal, as it hides the profile and all associated content. Threads have said that they’re ‘looking into’ creating a way to delete the account separately.
Will The Popularity Of Threads Last?
We can’t say for sure, but right now it does seem likely. Meta are heavyweights in the social media industry, so they’ll no doubt be injecting a lot of time and resources into making it great. They’ve chosen a great time to release, while Twitter is vulnerable. However, that’s not to say that Twitter won’t be able to make a comeback.
If you want to keep up to date with the latest developments with the likes of Twitter and Threads, keep an eye on Search4Local’s blog. We’ll keep you posted.