Threads, the latest addition to Meta’s lineup, is already making headlines with its incredible start. Within the morning of its launch, the app amassed a staggering 30 million users, setting the stage for its journey ahead. Referred to as the “Twitter Killer” by many, Threads is generating significant buzz and captivating the attention of Instagram users worldwide.
But why is Threads being hailed as a rival to Twitter? Let’s uncover everything we’ve learned so far about Threads and why it deserves your attention.
Threads, launched by tech giant Meta on July 6th, is a text-based conversation app designed to be a hub where communities converge to discuss a wide range of topics. Meta envisions Threads as an extension of Instagram, and the app has taken the internet by storm, instantly captivating users across the globe. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg himself announced that Threads had already reached a remarkable 70 million users. To put this into perspective, popular platforms like ChatGPT and TikTok took significantly longer to achieve similar user milestones.
Threads draws inspiration from Twitter in terms of functionality and user interface. Familiar symbols like the heart-shaped “like” button and the circular arrows for reposting remain intact. However, Threads differentiates itself by offering a character limit of 500 for text posts, enabling users to create more extensive content. Additionally, users can include links, photos, and videos up to five minutes long, providing a potential game-changing experience for those seeking to share longer-form thoughts. This expanded flexibility sets Threads apart from Twitter’s traditional 280-character limit.
To get started with Threads, all you need is an Instagram account. If you’re already a user of the popular photo and video sharing platform, accessing Threads is a breeze. Simply download the app from Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store, and with just a few taps, you can dive right into the action.
How Threads and Twitter Differ
Threads poses a significant challenge to Twitter, arriving at a time when the latter has faced numerous controversies and criticisms, particularly since Elon Musk assumed control in October 2022. Twitter’s recent decision to impose temporary viewing limits on users’ content caused widespread frustration. In contrast, Threads offers a welcome alternative, removing any restrictions on the amount of content or number of posts users can view or contribute.
While Threads is currently a standalone app, it seamlessly integrates with Instagram. Users with an existing Instagram account can employ the same credentials to access Threads and even follow the same accounts they engage with on Instagram. This seamless transition positions Threads as a natural extension for Instagram users. Currently, the app does not display advertisements, but given Instagram’s colossal user base of over 2 billion, it may only be a matter of time before ads make an appearance.
Threads, dubbed the “Twitter Killer,” is available for download in over 100 countries via both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. However, its release in the European Union has been delayed due to data privacy concerns.
What’s the Buzz?
Industry analysts and investors are excited about Threads due to its integration with Instagram, providing access to an existing user base exceeding 2 billion. This aspect offers immense potential for advertisers, as the app’s growth is driven by users with substantial followings. The moment a high-profile user begins posting on Threads, their followers flock to the platform, leading to rapid expansion. Several notable personalities and brands have already joined Threads, including Shakira, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Gordon Ramsay, Billboard, HBO, Netflix, and NPR, signaling a promising future.
Given the app’s impressive start, Mark Zuckerberg predicts that Threads will reach a billion users in the near future. In a tweet, he expressed his belief that there should be a public conversations app with over 1 billion users, highlighting Twitter’s missed opportunity and his hopes that Threads will fill that void.
Challenges and Road Ahead
Despite its early success, Threads does face some initial criticisms. Users have noted the absence of a private messaging feature and the lack of trends or hashtags to track popular content. The app also provides limited options for timeline curation, with users only being able to mute accounts or words and block others. Furthermore, Threads is currently unavailable for desktop use, which may be seen as a drawback.
Twitter offers two feeds, one with recommended content and another displaying tweets from followed accounts. In contrast, Threads offers a single feed that combines posts from followed accounts and content the app “thinks” users will enjoy. This consolidation might prove bothersome to some users.
In terms of verification, users can purchase Blue Ticks, similar to Twitter’s verification system, for a monthly fee.
Looking to the future, Meta plans to make Threads compatible with ActivityPub, the open social networking protocol set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This integration would enable Threads to interact with other apps supporting the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon and WordPress. This enhanced compatibility will offer users more control over their audience and the ability to transfer content to other services, providing new avenues for connections beyond the confines of a single app.
Threads presents an exciting platform for sharing thoughts in text format and following others. While it is still in its early stages, it’s too soon to predict whether it will surpass Twitter. Nevertheless, launching Threads at a time when Twitter faces intense backlash appears to be a strategic move by Mark Zuckerberg. Beyond providing users with a fresh platform to express themselves, Threads seamlessly integrates with Instagram, creating a cohesive user experience. Despite a few drawbacks, the incredible surge of over 100 million users within a week of launch makes it impossible to ignore the phenomenon surrounding Threads.