Words by Aarthy Balaganesh
Threads, a new app developed by the Instagram team, has been launched by Meta as a direct response to Twitter. According to Mark Zuckerberg, within the first seven hours of its release, over 10 million users have already signed up as followers.
Meta described Threads as a “new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations”. It aims is to “take what Instagram does best and expand that to text, creating a positive and creative space to express your ideas”.
Threads is like Twitter for posts called threads. Celebrities, influencers, public figures, and regular users share their thoughts and updates with everyone.
Similar to retweeting, users have the ability to repost (also known as rethread) other individuals’ content. Along with commenting and favouriting, users can also follow other users on the platform.
To access Threads, users can sign in using their Instagram account, which provides the app with access to over 2 billion accounts. The app offers an option to follow the same accounts as on Instagram, which is intriguing as many people use Instagram for socialising with friends and Twitter for following public figures and news updates.
The users have the option to disregard Instagram’s recommendations and curate their own list of accounts to follow. Additionally, the app’s news feed will display posts from users whom they haven’t followed.
What sets Threads apart from Twitter?
When posting, the threads have a limit of 500 characters, which is almost twice the default 280 characters of Twitter. Additionally, you have the option to choose between posting publicly or privately, exclusively to users who you have authorised.
Currently, Threads does not have any advertisements. However, considering Meta’s significant advertising enterprise, it is likely that this will change in the future.
Instagram’s policies on content regulation are more rigorous compared to Twitter, as they prohibit nudity and other explicit content. Hence, discussions on sensitive topics are expected to receive closer scrutiny on the platform. On the other hand, Twitter has been more lenient with regards to posts related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Will Threads kill Twitter?
According to the Independent, there is little chance of Twitter completely disappearing in the near future. Typically, social networks gradually lose their popularity rather than suddenly disappearing. Even after it has lost its significance, there may still be individuals who continue to utilise the platform. However, it is evident that the platform is currently experiencing a decline, and the introduction of Threads may exacerbate this trend.
It’s possible that Threads could ultimately overshadow Twitter with its superior design and lower potential for controversy, attracting users away from the competing social media platform. However, it’s also worth considering that Twitter is already in decline and may not even need to be “killed” by Threads, as it could simply fade away without being replaced.
In response to concerns raised by politicians and advocates regarding child safety on their platform, Meta has decided to automatically set all Threads users under the age of 18 to a private profile. This means that only individuals authorised by the user will be able to view their profile.