Meta Launches Yet Another Social Platform, “Threads”
The new Instagram app Threads is now available for download and use in “select markets”. This highly anticipated platform is aimed at being a Twitter replacement.
Meta, in an effort to take advantage of Twitter’s decreasing user base since the latter company’s takeover by Elon Musk in 2022 has launched Threads as a text-focused social media platform with many similar features.
Even the layout of the new platform is very similar in many ways to that of Twitter (why spoil a good thing apparently?). Aside from this, users can create their own Threads account using their existing login credentials with their Instagram account.
In fact, Meta has specifically labeled the platform as “Threads, an Instagram App”, specifically highlighting its connection to Instagram despite this being a supposedly standalone platform in practice.
One benefit of the direct integration with a user’s Instagram account will be that the app lets that person quickly find many of their existing followers pretty much automatically based on in-app account suggestions.
From within, Threads offers a content feed very similar to that of Twitter, showing posts by followers, people being followed and those from suggested accounts.
There are also “like” buttons, comment fields for posts and icons for reposting someone’s thread –we guess. Meta has also made threads in a feed collapsible for the sake of a less-cluttered experience.
According to Meta’s description of Threads,
“Threads is where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today to what’ll be trending tomorrow. Whatever it is you’re interested in, you can follow and connect directly with your favorite creators and others who love the same things — or build a loyal following of your own to share your ideas, opinions, and creativity with the world,”
This basically means that content posted to Threads will be shareable across an entire interconnected landscape of other social platforms, servers and content networks, instead of being siloed away inside only Meta’s digital properties.
Thus, Threads users will be able to transfer accounts, content and followers from other, unrelated apps like Mastadon, or any app that supports ActivityPub.
A more visibly negative aspect of Threads, at least for now, is that the app doesn’t yet have a laptop/desktop version like Instagram and Facebook do.
The similarity to Twitter but with supposed improvements isn’t a coincidence with Threads by the way. As the Verge explains, Meta’s chief product officer Chris Cox specifically called Threads, Meta’s “response to Twitter”.
However, he clarified that with Threads users would be able to enjoy a Twitter-like platform that’s “sanely run”.
Whether Meta, a company famous for many shenanigans with its own existing digital properties, is the right candidate for running such a so-called sane alternative to Twitter, is something we can look forward to seeing.
As for the photography angle of Threads, we’ll have to see how it plays out. Twitter has certainly been used by many photographers to effectively and virally distribute their visual art across multiple niches. This has even included powerful digital dynamics for finding very specific niches and fans that enjoy more edgy content.
Threads might not take this route, and considering how arbitrary Instagram can be about blocking certain types of content, we wouldn’t be surprised if Threads shows the same tendencies.
Threads is now available in the United States and a few other specific markets but for now not available in the European Union. Meta specifically addressed this by saying
“Meta will not launch its new Twitter rival, Threads, in Ireland or the EU for the foreseeable future…A spokesperson for Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) said that the regulator had been in contact about the new service and that it would not be rolled out in the EU ‘at this point,’”
The above is of course an obvious response to Meta’s continuing problems with and whining about data privacy laws in the EU.
Image sources: Meta