On July 5th Mark Zuckerberg - CEO of META- launched Threads, an app built by the Instagram team where users can share short text posts. Threads is presented as an integrated app with Instagram and is under the branch of META, the parent company of Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook. The app now poses a serious threat to Twitter, the short text post sharing app owned by Elon Musk. In the first five days of its launch, Threads has already reached 100 million subscribers, becoming the fastest growing app. With its growing popularity over the internet, many users speculate whether this app could be a “Twitter Killer”.
What Is Threads ?
In Threads, similar to Twitter, users can share short text posts that others can react to, repost, and comment on. Threads aims to create a separate space from Instagram, where people can have public conversations and share their life updates in text format. Users can share posts up to 500 characters, and include images, links, and videos up to 5 minutes in their posts. Threads, unlike other apps of META, is connected to Instagram as users sign up through their Instagram accounts. Users’ Instagram username and verification carries over to Threads and they will have the same username and passwords in both platforms although they can customize their biography specifically for Threads. Users also have the option to follow the accounts they follow on Instagram, making it easy for users adapt to the new platform. According to Meta, Threads will provide a safer space for users to acquire information and share updates. In the video posted by Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri on Threads, he mentions that the team wants to keep the features on Instagram that enable safety such as hidden words, restrict, and community guidelines. Although the integrated system to Instagram makes it easy for users to get in, it may not be easy to leave. The only way to delete the Threads account is by deleting the Instagram account. This feature poses a concern for users as it requires the users to make sacrifices once they want to leave the app. Interestingly, this is parallel with Instagram’s goal. Mosseri says on the video he posted on Threads that although new social media apps can easily attract many new users, it is harder to keep them engaged in the app in the long-term. With this feature Threads aims to keep their users in the app for a longer period of time.
Can Threads Beat Twitter ?
It is undeniable that Threads’ concept is a new rival to the famous short text posts app Twitter. With its increasing popularity and user-friendly features, the users have begun to speculate whether Threads may be a “Twitter-Killer”. Compared to Twitter, Threads offers a more free platform for users. Users can write posts up to 500 characters, while Twitter allows only 280 characters. Users can include videos up-to 5 minutes on Threads unlike Twitter’s 2 minute and 20 seconds limit. The attraction towards Threads is not a surprise. Many users have already begun to leave Twitter and look for new platforms after Elon Musk acquired Twitter last year. The platform started receiving hate due after the launch of Twitter Blue, a subscription that offers access to app customizations and features that gives more power to certain accounts. This gave the chance for any account to be verified and the ability to manipulate the content posted causing misinformation and unreliability of the content posted. Another update that caused the users to give up on Twitter was reading limitations. On July 1st 2023, Elon Musk announced that unverified accounts will be limited to reading 300 tweets a day, existing unverified accounts at 600 tweets per day and verified accounts getting 6000 tweets per day. Elon Musk stated in his tweet that this is an update to prevent data scraping and manipulation. Although this limit was raised to 500 tweets for new unverified users, 1,000 tweets for unverified users, 10,000 tweets for verified users; the change received a lot of backlash from users. Leaving Twitter and using other applications such as BluSky was argued among Twitter users. Therefore, during Twitter’s downfall, the success of Threads was no surprise. The Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said that the opportunity for a rival app to Twitter came with the changes in the app “not just because of the ownership, but because of product changes and decisions” that was made by Musk and his team.
Although Thread seems to be more user-friendly at the moment it is important to note that it lacks some of the features that users love about Twitter such as hashtags, direct messaging, trending topics and the option to edit posts. However, Adam Mosseri reports that new features will be added to the app very soon. He mentioned on a Thread post that the team is working on a feed for showing posts in chronological order and the team will be working on adapting new features. As for now, Threads seems to be going off strong, but still has a long way to go. Still it remains questionable whether Zuckerberg’s “Threads” can beat Musk’s “Twitter”.
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