With questionable decisions and changes since Elon Musk took over, it looks like Twitter’s been on the way out for a while now. And with its new app Threads, it looks like Meta wants to give it the final blow. The social media giant has just released its Twitter competitor, and over ten million people have already signed up.
[Related reading: Thread lightly: Deleting Threads profile kills your Instagram account, too]
What’s Meta’s Threads app, anyway?
Threads is almost literally Twitter’s copy, tied to your Instagram account. Instead of writing short texts and sharing music to Notes, Instagram’s first take on Twitter, there’s now a separate app that lets you do way more.
“Our vision with Threads is to take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas,” Meta writes in the announcement. “Just like on Instagram, with Threads you can follow and connect with friends and creators who share your interests – including the people you follow on Instagram and beyond.”
Just like Instagram, Threads assigns a default private account to everyone under 16 (or under 18 in some countries) when they first join. You can, of course, easily change that and expose yourself to trolls and bullies from all over the world. You can follow the same accounts as you do on Instagram, and find more people to follow.
Your feed on Threads will show posts and threads from the people you follow, as well as recommended content from people you haven’t discovered yet. Twitter has the same option and I personally find it extremely annoying. There’s no word about ads in your feed, but knowing Meta, I think we know what to expect.
As for your posts, they can be up to 500 characters long. They can include links, photos, and videos up to 5 minutes long. Since Threads is tied to Instagram, you can share a Threads post directly to your Instagram story, or share it as a link on any other platform. How fun it would be to share it on Twitter?
Will Meta’s Threads kill Twitter?
According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, ten million people joined Threads in the first seven hours. Mike Davis asked on Threads if it could become bigger than Twitter, and Zuckerberg responded:
It’ll take some time, but I think there should be a public conversations app with 1 billion+ people on it. Twitter has had the opportunity to do this but hasn’t nailed it. Hopefully we will.
Twitter users have been extremely unhappy with the app lately, so I personally think this is the perfect time for Meta to launch its own version of the app. I think it will ultimately take over, as Twitter has become chaotic and unstable. You can’t even see the tweets anymore if you’re not logged in.
Potential issues with Threads
Threads app is already available in over 100 countries all over the world, including the UK which waved the EU goodbye. But it’s still not available in the EU because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) In fact, this regulation might shut down Facebook and Instagram in the EU because the platforms don’t comply with the GDPR, so I believe that Threads poses the same issues.
Speaking of data protection, Meta isn’t exactly known for keeping its user data private. It’s been a public secret for a while now that Meta “chooses profit over safety,” as whistleblower Frances Haugen once put it. I will just remind you of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in case you forgot.
There’s another problem with Threads and the fact that it’s tied to your Instagram account. You can only delete your Threads profile by deleting your Instagram profile too! So, this is something to definitely keep in mind before you opt in.
Finally, there’s the issue of online safety. Threads is yet another app that makes you vulnerable to trolls, haters, and online bullies of all kinds. But I leave it to you to filter out your feed, block who you need to block, and talk to your children about online safety, too, if you allow them to start a Threads account.