Threads: Will This Be Sew Long Twitter?
Posted on 10th July 2023 at 14:38
Like the rest of the world, we at Artus have been intrigued by the latest social media platform to come onto our phones and into our lives. And of course being at the cutting edge of all that is new - especially when it has to do with words - we thought we would round up the latest goings on and our first impressions of the brave new world that is Threads.
What is Threads?
Threads is Meta’s (Facebook, etc.) rival app to Twitter. It shares many of the same key features with likes, reshares, and replies and it looks incredibly similar. It’s an app linked to a user’s Instagram account with the ability to transfer content and connections between the two.
In Meta’s own words, Threads is a “text-based communication app… where communities come together.”
Isn’t That Just Like Twitter?
There’s no getting around this, Threads is very similar in look and feel to Twitter - very.
It is coming at a time when Twitter is under fire amid controversies around Elon Musk, his crackdown on blue tick users and imposing limits on the number of tweets non-paying users can view daily. Many apps have tried and failed to compete with Twitter but Threads poses the biggest threat of them all.
While Threads’ similarities to Twitter cannot be ignored, there are a few differences worth noting:
Character limit - Threads allows up to 500 characters to Twitter’s - the free version most people use - 280
Threads will allow up to 5-minute videos and links
There is no discover feature on Threads (yet!)
There are no hashtags to search for a topic or debate
Users can control who can mention them or reply to their threads
Users can filter out specific words
Threads uses Meta’s community guidelines on hate speech
Threads is linked to Instagram so users join with their community already established as the connections can be transferred seamlessly from their existing Instagram account (including blocked accounts)
It’s the control and accountability that Threads is offering and hopes of more positive and civilised interactions which is attracting users and businesses; hopeful Meta’s policies on hate speech will mean better community moderation.
Often on Twitter, businesses and brands are bombarded with cruel, hateful comments and messages. Threads will not allow this and will therefore promote a healthier and friendlier debate, avoiding targeted campaigns against brands and allowing marketing departments to focus on their clients, services and products.
What Sets Threads Apart?
Twitter’s reputation for divisive free speech is something that is costing them its users. Threads will hope to set itself apart through its safety features to create a more positive experience.
Interestingly, one way Meta will do this is to move away from Threads being used as a platform for users receiving news stories. Issues around fake news, reliability and the spreading of false information have led Meta to conclude that actively encouraging this discourse is not worth it.
Adam Mosseri, from Meta posted in response to a question on this, "Politics and hard news are inevitably going to show up on Threads - they have on Instagram as well to some extent - but we're not going to do anything to encourage those verticals."
Where’s Threads Heading?
There is a lot of talk of lawsuits, accusations of copying and even of cage fights between Zuckerberg and Musk at the moment and that’s in danger of drowning out one of the most interesting aspects of Threads and its future.
Meta has stated that they are working on Threads connecting to ActivityPub, allowing links and connections between platforms for users and allowing threads to be seen by those not even on the platform itself.
ActivityPub removes the ‘walls’ from between platforms and could have huge implications for businesses wishing to use Threads in the future opening up new connections, discourse and ultimately customers.
Well, it really is a case of watch this space. As with anything new, there’ll be an adjustment period but from what we can tell, the initial signup has been huge.
Of the 70 million, there will be the initially curious and the accidental sign-ups (it really is incredibly easy to add a Thread account to an Instagram profile) who may disappear over the coming weeks. The true test will be if the number of users continues to grow and if users report positive experiences - and then if we will see a subsequent decrease in Twitter users.
As with all things to do with words, the team at Artus will be here, watching, learning and growing to enable you and your business to do the same.
To contact us about how we can help your business with words, contact us today.
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