Threads – all you need to know

This month Meta has unveiled their new app to compete directly with Twitter. Threads is a text only version of Instagram and “a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”

Following Elon Musks tumultuous ownership of Twitter which resulted in a series of unpopular changes, including a daily limit on the number of tweets users can see, Meta has been gearing up to directly challenge the platform and target its users who may be on the lookout for a new text-based social media space.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in some early replies on Threads that he’s focused on making the app “a friendly place,” which will “ultimately be the key to its success.”

Threads has already reached 100 million users in record time, beating Instagram, TikTok and chat GPT which previously held the record for the fastest downloaded app. Zuckerberg said that 10 million people signed up in the first seven hours.

Earlier on this year, Twitter made the decision to remove blue-tick verification of accounts who do not pay a fee. High-profile users who lost their blue checks included Beyoncé, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and former President Donald Trump.

Blue-tick marks became available to purchase for anyone willing to pay a fee, resulting in a deluge of fraudulent accounts which mimicked official pages and were able to post confusing and falsified information.

The confusion has raised concerns that Twitter could lose its status as a platform for getting accurate, up-to-date information from authentic sources, including in emergencies.

Musk however has defended the app by stating “It is infinitely preferable to be attacked by strangers on Twitter, than indulge in the false happiness of hide-the-pain Instagram,”.

The success of Threads so far is largely due to the easy set up and integration with Instagram. When you create an account on Threads you can sign in using your Instagram account, meaning you don’t have to go looking for the people you know. It means that you have immediate access to your existing communities and your feed will be full of people you already know and follow. 

Threads also shows you a mix of content from the accounts you follow as well as well as other posts it thinks you’ll like. Driven by an algorithm the feed is designed to keep you engaged. This will have been a huge help in getting the app off the ground so early on, as brand new users don’t have to wait for everyone else they know to join, they can begin using the app and enjoying content straight away.

Analysts have said, however, that Threads’ success is by no means guaranteed, citing Meta’s track record of starting standalone apps that were later shut down.

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