Topics: What we’ve learned in week one — and why it can’t kill Twitter just yet | Science and technology news


With more than 100 million users signing up in five days and Elon Musk taking to tweeting explicit taunts about Mark Zuckerberg, it’s been quite a first week for Meta’s new app Threads.

After months of speculationthe company behind it Facebook chose the perfect moment to shamelessly launch it Twitter rival and it’s already the fastest growing app of all time.

For many, it was the opportunity they had been waiting for ever since musk bought the Vogel app to pack their bags, say goodbye to their tweets and hope many of their followers will join them on their journey to the sunny climes of another data-hungry social media platform they own another controversial billionaire.

While it looks very similar to Twitter, with its text-based timeline that encourages replies and conversations, the first week has shown that you don’t have to dig deep below the surface to realize that the strategy isn’t quite as similar.

Threads looks remarkably similar to Twitter. Image: Meta

Who Uses Threads?

subjects feels a bit like a summer beach shack full of annoyingly cool people who wouldn’t look out of place even in the new barbie movie.

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given how the app is built Instagram, where influencers, celebrities and brands have the upper hand. Some of the most visited include Kim Kardashian, MrBeast and Shakira.

Elon Musk wants Twitter to be that Oppenheimer in this cinematic analogy, a place for more serious talk and thoughtful debate. Unfortunately, one has long had the feeling that the atomic bomb will explode.

Much like Twitter, Meta has touted Threads as a place to “participate in public conversations.”

However, if you scroll through your timeline, you’re more likely to find inspirational quotes, harmless memes, travel posts, and insufferable interactions between brands than anything particularly meaningful.

It feels, as social media expert Matt Navarra puts it, “a little bit frivolous.”

“It’s really fun to be there, and the lack of established norms is part of the appeal,” he says. “But some people find the content cheap and lacking in quality or purpose.”

“It’s like Twitter with an Instagram wrapper.”

Continue reading:
Everything you need to know about threads

Instagram accounts can be taken over into threads.  Image: Meta
Instagram accounts are taken over into threads. Image: Meta

There’s no news like less news

To make this divide even more apparent is the fact that Threads’ mantra seems to be “anything but news and politics”. Or if you want to talk about it, please don’t bother the rest of us.

An early analysis by Website Planet suggests that news outlets have only 1% of the followers they have on Twitter on threads. Brands have seen much higher adoption and also get more likes and replies than on Twitter.

Threads leader Adam Mosseri wrote, “There are more than enough great communities to create a vibrant platform without having to delve into politics or hard news.”

Continue reading:
Who is Instagram and Threads boss Adam Mosseri?

Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri takes his seat before the hearing of the subcommittee on consumer protection, product safety and data security of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation "Protecting children online: Instagram and reforms for young users" On Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
Adam Mosseri runs Instagram and Threads

Mark Zuckerberg’s incitement to Musk would certainly indicate that he sees threads as a problem Twitter killerbut it’s hard to imagine Musk’s platform being destroyed while retaining its reputation as a place for messaging.

This time last summer Boris Johnson’s PM began collapsing in real-time on Twitter – It’s hard to imagine a similar event on Threads in its current form as politicians are largely absent from the platform.

Navarra says: “If the goal is to become a global city square, news and politics are a key component.”

“It’s early days and that might be the case with threads, but it feels like it’s not the kind of content that’s going to work. The relevance of Twitter is quite difficult to restore.”

“I don’t think people will be able to delete Twitter entirely yet, which will be frustrating and disconcerting for some!”

Continue reading:
Why Threads is poised to take off in a big way

Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO of Facebook, attends the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany, February 15, 2020.  REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
Mark Zuckerberg certainly enjoyed Threads’ quick launch

Where are all the ads?

One of the most striking things about Threads is that there are still no ads – but enjoy it while it’s running.

With record signups and high user engagement, the platform is ripe for advertisers — who have been a little more cautious about spending money on Twitter at Musk due to his lax stance on moderation – to help Meta make big bucks from his new app.

Brands and businesses, from Starbucks to Spotify, are already a huge part of Threads and will be more confident that their ads aren’t showing alongside questionable content if Twitter remains a sanitized version.

Twitter has unblocked a number of suspended accounts since Musk bought the platform, including People like controversial influencer Andrew Tateand the “Absolutist Freedom of Speech” stance has garnered the support of groups like…well, yes the Taliban. It’s fair to say that brands that put safety first would rather not take the risk of appearing alongside them.

Continue reading:
Andrew Tate videos ‘shared on teen social feeds’

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How Andrew Tate content finds “teens”.

How will threads evolve?

Threads boss Mosseri has made it clear that Threads needs an overhaul — there’s no way to search for specific topics or terms, making it difficult to find conversations you want to be a part of.

#Hashtags are also missing. There’s also no way to tailor your timeline to just the people you follow. Instead, you’ll mostly be shown content you think you’ll like (spoilers: I hope you like brands). For whatever problems people have with Twitter, those basics are at least still there.

Continue reading:
What is missing from threads on startup?
Why do so many apps have the same look?

Navarra says that the sudden start of threads (apparently has been pushed forward to take advantage of the consequences). Musk’s decision to apply temporary reading restrictions to all Twitter accounts) and the quick demand means it hasn’t had a chance to “build a sense of community or identity” as it hosts both Instagram refugees and Twitter refugees.

Rebecca Tyrrell, Social Lead at LADbible Group, says, “There will be many Twitter users who don’t use Instagram and may not accept threads,” and many who joined through Instagram without having used Twitter before.

But you probably don’t curate your Instagram feed based on who has the best chat — and Threads shows why.

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Right now your main motivation for opening threads is probably curiosity – what’s next? Why did so many people sign up? It’s the shiny new toy of social media, and the fear of missing out is running high.

“There’s always a chance that the novelty will wear off, and when the dust settles it won’t be quite as exciting and people will go back to normal behavior,” says Navarra.

In this case, normal behavior likely means a return to Twitter. It may feel like a bomb has gone off, but talk of its imminent demise seems — not for the first time — to be exaggerated.

Regardless, Threads is certainly enjoying its honeymoon period. Whether that means users can expect a long marriage remains to be seen.

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