Spill. Mastodon. Bluesky. Ever since the change in leadership at Twitter (currently rebranded as X), new social media platforms have tried to establish themselves as major competition, like the Phillies vs. the Mets. But the latest platform under every social media manager’s radar, Meta’s Threads, is by far the biggest competitor.
Threads, dubbed the “Twitter Killer,” has been the talk of the town since it launched July 5th. The social media app reached over 100 million downloads within just a few days, the only other app to accomplish such a feat being the generative AI platform ChatGPT. Part of the reason for its massive growth is its connection to sister Meta app, Instagram, which has over 2 billion users worldwide. It’s the kind of growth that has Twitter owner Elon Musk shaking so bad that he actually filed a cease-and-desist order against Mark Zuckerburg.
There is so much to unpack about the potential of Threads, but we are just going to stick with the top takeaways from our experience on the app thus far.
- It’s very basic: The platform may be a very basic Twitter copy that’s massively growing in popularity, but that doesn’t mean your brand or organization should be quick to jump on it. Sure, you can go ahead and claim a handle on the platform, but it’s way too early to see how or if the platform will serve a different purpose than Twitter. It’s important to remember that every social media app serves a different purpose. While Twitter serves mainly as a news source, Threads seems to be more toward casual use. Will that change in the coming months? Who knows.
- It’s not perfect: While much of the fun behind Threads is the nostalgia of a time Twitter wasn’t so complicated, users are still noticing flaws on the platform, including a lack of chronological feed, no analytics functionality, no trending topics list, and the inability to utilize hashtags. However, Zuckerberg has shared that updates are coming, including a chronological feed, the ability to edit a post, and improvements to desktop interface.
- It’s friendly…for now: The app is in the honeymoon phase. Everybody is either just exploring it or having fun on the app, partially due to relief over the existence of a strong Twitter alternative. Plenty of Twitter users have been departing the platform due to annoyance over the changes Musk has enacted in the past few months, from the removal of free verified blue check marks to the limits placed on the number of Tweets you can view. Many wonder if Threads will eventually become exposed to the nastiness we have seen on other text-based social platforms, but Meta has the infrastructure for the amount of content moderation that Musk stripped from Twitter when he fired most of the engineering team.
It will be very interesting to see how Threads will evolve in the coming months, from the advertising potential to how the upcoming presidential campaigns will play a factor.