The new platform was released ahead of time by Meta, which also controls Facebook and Instagram. In particular, the throngs of Twitter fans who watched in horror as their beloved platform disintegrated at the hands of Elon Musk welcomed Threads very quickly.
Threads drew around 30 million users in less than 24 hours. Additionally, Threads’ user base will expand quickly because Meta already has more than two billion Instagram users who can connect their accounts straight to it.
The similarities between Threads and Twitter are clearly given their basic black-and-white feeds and features that let you reply to, adore, quote, and discuss other people’s “threads”.
Are Threads going to be the platform that eventually defeats Twitter?
Twitter followers watched helplessly in October of last year as Elon Musk was appointed the organisation’s CEO.
The first “escape plan” was Mastodon. However, because each decentralised server had wildly varied community dynamics and content policies, many users found it challenging and confusing to use.
Many Twitter users made “backup” Mastodon accounts in case Twitter went down while they awaited Elon Musk’s next move. The wait was brief.
Platform instability and outages increased as Musk began firing Twitter employees (he has now let go of nearly 80% of the company’s initial workers.
Shortly after, Musk shocked users and garnered media attention by dismantling Twitter’s verification system and making “blue tick” holders pay for the right to authenticate. This made it possible for widespread information sharing of false information and account impersonations. The site was abandoned by some major corporate brands, who took their advertising budgets with them.
Until he was forced to back down by public outcry, Musk likewise disparaged reputable news outlets like the BBC as “state-owned” media. More recently, he began limiting the number of tweets users may view and said that TweetDeck, a tool for managing tweet schedules, would only be available to paying members.
Of course, Twitter users may also be concerned about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Signing up for another Meta app comes with its own concerns.
Users of the new threads who read the fine print note that their information will be used to “personalise ads and other experiences” on both platforms. And users pointed out that you can only delete your Threads account if you delete your Instagram account.
This kind of rooting can be disconcerting for some.
Additionally, Meta decided yesterday not to launch Threads anywhere in the European Union due to regulatory concerns. The new EU law on digital markets could bring challenges for Threads.
The ultimate transition of Threads to a distributed infrastructure has also been announced by Meta. Future versions of Threads will “work with the fediverse,” according to the app’s “How Threads Works” specifications, allowing users to “follow and interact with each other on different platforms, including Mastodon.”
This implies that users won’t need to register for Threads in order to access and engage with Threads material from non-Meta accounts. Threads may then operate similarly to WordPress, Mastodon, and email servers by utilising the ActivityPub standard (which facilitates decentralised interoperability between platforms), allowing users on different servers to communicate with one another.
Musk, on the other hand, won’t go down without a fight. A few hours after the publication of Threads, Twitter’s attorney Alex Spiro issued a letter in which he charged Meta with “systematic” and “illegal misappropriation” of trade secrets.
According to the letter, Meta hired former Twitter employees who were “deliberately assigned” to “develop Meta’s copycat ‘Threads’ app in a matter of months.” Reports indicate that Meta has denied these assertions, but the conflict between the two businesses appears to be far from resolved.