Inside Threads: Exploring Zuckerberg's Latest Social Media Venture
Step into the captivating world of Threads, Mark Zuckerberg's groundbreaking social media venture that aims to revolutionize online conversations.
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In a surprising turn of events, Mark Zuckerberg resurfaced on Twitter after an 11-year hiatus. The strategic timing of his tweet was no accident. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched a new app called Threads, designed for "sharing text updates and joining public conversations."
To add a touch of playful rivalry, Zuckerberg's tweet featured a meme of Spiderman pointing at Spiderman, aimed directly at Elon Musk. The post quickly gained traction, accumulating 44,000 likes within a mere three hours. However, the real buzz surrounds the reception of Threads itself.
Just one day later, Zuckerberg revealed that Threads had already skyrocketed to a staggering 90 million users. If you haven't joined the Threads frenzy yet, fear not.
Here's everything you need to know before diving into this exciting new platform.
Threads Take Off at Lightning Speed
Threads has taken the digital world by storm, with an impressive user base of 90 million and counting. Considering Instagram's colossal user count of 1.3 billion, it's no surprise that Threads has gained such rapid popularity.
By comparison, Twitter's worldwide active daily user count reached approximately 259 million by the end of 2022. Threads made its debut on July 6, spanning over 100 countries worldwide.
Notably, Meta has not released the app in the European Union (EU) region, likely due to the stringent privacy concerns and regulations stipulated by the EU's Digital Markets Act.
You're Invited: Exclusively for Instagram Users
Don't be taken aback if your Threads search results occasionally lead you to pages about sewing tips. As a relatively new app, Threads is exclusively open to all Instagram users.
Simply head to the Android Play Store or iOS App Store to download the app and link it to your Instagram profile. This linkage will automatically display your Threads badge on your Instagram profile, encouraging your followers to connect with your Threads profile. This integration with Instagram provides one of Threads' most significant advantages: you don't need to build a follower base from scratch.
With the click of a button, you can seamlessly import all your information from your existing Instagram profile. Whether you choose to follow the same accounts you do on Instagram or handpick new ones, the choice is yours.
Familiarity with a Twist
Threads bears a resemblance to Twitter but offers its own unique features. Each thread on Threads is akin to a tweet, allowing you to share text-based content of up to 500 characters, accompanied by photos, links, and videos. Unlike Twitter, Threads does not incorporate hashtags, at least for now. The user interface is clean, intuitive, and designed for ease of use.
At the bottom of the screen, you'll find five icons: a search icon for discovering new accounts to follow, a heart icon reminiscent of Instagram, displaying account activity such as requests and replies, a profile icon for exploring posts and replies, and an Instagram Paper Plane icon for sharing posts on your Instagram story or feed.
While Threads does not currently offer a direct messaging function, this may change in the future. Additionally, editing posts/threads after publishing are not currently supported, and the app does not include a hashtag or trending topics function.
Not Just a Twitter Replacement
In an interview with The Verge, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, emphasized that Threads is not intended as a replacement for Twitter.
Rather, the app aims to "create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter." Threads is specifically geared towards communities seeking a more harmonious space for conversations, departing from Twitter's often contentious atmosphere.
Meta emphasizes the advantage of safety over Twitter, although instances of hate content have surfaced. Importantly, you cannot migrate your Twitter followers to Threads, so starting from scratch is to be expected.
You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, but You Can Never Leave
Threads users have expressed concerns about the Meta algorithm's influence on their feed. Currently, the feed combines accounts you follow with content that the Threads algorithm deems relevant to you.
In response to user feedback, Meta has acknowledged the need for a follower-only list, which is currently a work in progress. Another issue raised by some users is Meta's policy on deleting Threads accounts. To delete your Threads account, you must also delete your Instagram account.
If you're planning to test the waters, creating a new Instagram account may be a wise choice, although you won't have your existing followers onboard. Alternatively, you can deactivate your Threads account, temporarily hiding your profile and posts until you decide to return.
The Dominance of Big Tech
Meta's decision to exclude the EU during Threads' launch has rekindled discussions about the questionable privacy practices of Big Tech.
Like Instagram, Threads provides recommended posts and accounts from brands users have not followed. App Privacy information is available on the Apple Store Preview sheds light on the extent of data collection by the app. However, this is not unique to Threads.
Recent changes made by Twitter in July, such as revised usage quotas (initially limiting unverified users to 600 posts per day, later raised to 1,000), may entice some Twitter users to explore Threads.
The battle between Threads and Twitter for app usage and interactions is poised to shape the digital landscape and redefine the Internet's public square.
Elon Musk wasted no time responding to Zuckerberg's tweet, proclaiming, "It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram."
With the gauntlet thrown, the Threads vs Twitter battle promises to be a fascinating clash that will shape the future of online conversations.
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