As Twitter continues its downward spiral into a troll-laden cesspool, Meta looks keen to take over the talk of the town with Threads.
It’s been a weird time since Elon Musk took over Twitter.
Since November when Musk walked in carrying the kitchen sink, Twitter has lost a way to verify the identity of followers, its comms department, cred, users, and plenty of people working for it to make it the social media giant it once was. What it gained hasn’t seemed like it was worth the cost of doing business.
There are more trolls and fanboys than ever, less actual verification replaced instead with a paid system that hardly verifies anything beyond a credit or debit card, more scammers pretending to be celebrities, and more competitors.
If there’s one think Musk’s takeover of Twitter has brought, it’s the competition.
And there’s another of those this week, as Twitter’s biggest competitor Facebook offers its own take on the platform, coming in “Threads”.
Distinct to the smart home platform Matter and Thread — because that’s clearly not going to confuse anyone — Threads has this week launched on iOS rather out of the blue, even though it has reportedly been in development since January.
Essentially a Twitter competitor connected to Instagram and Facebook, Threads lets you easily transition from an Instagram account to Threads itself, and offers a little more than just the ability to share photos and videos, though it does offer that.
More like Twitter, Threads supports written material with messages up to 500 characters long including links, photos, and videos up to five minutes in length, acting a little like Twitter, but connected to Facebook’s ad network, which you can no doubt expect will be appearing in a feed very, very shortly.
It’ll also soon support the ActivityPub protocol connecting it with the Fediverse supported by fellow competitors Mastodon and Bluesky, the former of which was an early Twitter competitor and the latter of which is still in development but slowly letting people join.
Launched this week, if anything Threads appears to make the process of joining a new social network easy, allowing you to easily connect with friends and followers quickly, compared with needing to find them all over again on a new platform, plus there’s virtually no wait time, arriving in app stores around much of the world now.
As to whether Threads has the staying power to beat Twitter in its current instance, that remains to be seen. At launch, Threads feels very much like a 1:1 replacement for Twitter, doing more or less the same job, but with less of the trolls, fanboys, and aggression seen on Twitter. You can also probably expect a severe amount of advertising on the platform soon given Meta’s ownership, which is much the same on its other platforms.
However, it could also offer the temporary change people are looking for, especially as Twitter continues its downward spiral getting worse by the day. Almost impressively so.