Social Media Manager | Paul Gregory Media
- Threads is a new app by Meta (creators of Facebook and Instagram) that rivals Twitter.
- In less than one week from its launch, Threads attained over 100 million subscribers.
- Usage of the app since it’s launch has dropped by 20%.
- Whether or not Threads will actually replace Twitter remains to be seen.
- I predict that it will ultimately be a successful app, especially as issues are in the process of being fixed.
Meta’s New, Twitter-Inspired App
In less than one week from its launch, Meta’s new Threads App attained over 100 million subscribers. Billed hyperbolically as the “Twitter-killer,” it is, admittedly, a viable competitor, even while lacking Twitter features that make it popular, such as direct messaging. In spite of its hype, there are a few concerns worth mentioning, and is why I await improvements before recommending the platform to our clients.
While Threads is an exciting new platform to explore, usage of the platform has dipped since its launch: a decrease of 20%. This is unsurprising, as it can be hard to live up to extreme hype for a prolonged period of time. The algorithm on Threads itself has been criticized for being a subpar “For You Page,” filled with primarily influencer and celebrity content while neglecting to include content from friends a user actively follows. An explanation for the questionable quality of the Threads App is that it was actually launched earlier than Meta had initially planned.
Whether or not Threads will actually replace Twitter remains to be seen. While Threads is marketing itself as a platform without a political focus, Twitter’s popularity is in large part due to its controversial political content. Even still, Mark Zuckerberg is confident that there is a place for Threads, saying “I think the world needs this kind of friendly community,” and that the platform’s focus would be the “kindness” that one is hard-pressed to find on Twitter.
Even with the need for improvements, the numbers don’t lie and indicate a real demand for an alternative to Twitter. In fact, two hours after its initial launch, Threads had already gained two million subscribers. Even Zuckerberg admitted that the mass interest was “way beyond our expectations.” The major part of Thread’s appeal is that the app is essentially an extension of Instagram. In fact, the apps are intrinsically linked, making the switch from one platform to the other a theoretically seamless process, allowing users to quickly subscribe to the same accounts they already follow on Instagram. This has its pros and cons, however, one most notable being the fact that in order to delete one’s Threads profile, they would also have to delete their Instagram. This feature poses some difficulty for users who may find that Threads isn’t the right platform for them, but would want to retain their Instagram. Meta’s chief technology officer has addressed this issue and says the company is working to remedy this, among other improvements. New updates include bug fixes, and there is talk of plans to introduce a desktop version of the app, and an edit button.
While this app has been touted as the “Twitter-killer,” I’m hesitant to apply that label. Every social media platform has its own unique culture and user base. While there is an audience for Threads, Twitter’s audience may shrink, but I doubt it will be eliminated completely in the near future.
As for Threads, I predict it will ultimately be a successful app, especially as issues are in the process of being fixed. I project that while it won’t replace Twitter, it will definitely present real competition, and like the new apps that have come before it, will have to serve its audience well in order to last the test of time. Social apps come and go, but we can’t write them off because of novelty and personal bias. Even Facebook was first touted as a fresh alternative to MySpace, which was the prevailing social media platform at the time. Now, Facebook, which has evolved into Meta, is clearly leading the social media business, with 3 billion users worldwide. For context, MySpace had 6.9 million site visits as of June 2022. In the end, only time will tell.
Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2023/07/17/threads-limits-twitter/
CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/meta-threads-launch-instagram-app-twitter/
CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/facebook-users-3-billion-users-zuckerberg/
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