Threads: Unraveling the New Twitter Alternative by Meta


July 6. 2023

Threads similarities with Twitter but places more emphasis on the creators and influencers.

Yesterday evening, the highly anticipated Threads app by Meta made its debut, surprising us all by launching a day ahead of schedule. It’s a much-needed alternative to Twitter, offering solace to the ever-growing number of users who have been feeling increasingly dissatisfied with the platform.

Changes implemented by CEO Elon Musk, such as limiting the number of tweets nonpaying users can view per day, have left many feeling dissatisfied. Additionally, hate speech has been on the rise since Musk acquired the platform. Given these circumstances, it’s only natural that people are exploring alternatives.

Initially, Threads was scheduled for release at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on July 6, but the company surprised us all by pushing the countdown clock forward to 7 p.m. Eastern Time on July 5.  This unexpected early release added to the excitement surrounding the app.  Personally I’ve been waiting for an alternative and I couldn’t be happier to explore what Threads has to offer.

Upon downloading Threads, I immediately noticed its resemblance to Twitter, as it allows us to post messages, engage in conversations, and express our appreciation through likes and reposts. But that’s not all—since Threads is a product of Meta, we can even follow the same accounts we have on Instagram, which opens up new opportunities for connections and followers.

According to Meta’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the vision for Threads is to leverage the best aspects of Instagram and create a fresh experience for text, ideas, and discussions. It’s a vision that resonates with me, as I believe there is a need for a more friendly and engaging online community. I’m grateful to be among the early adopters of Threads and contribute to its growth from day one.

Industry experts, like Mike Proulx, Vice President at tech research company Forrester, have pointed out that Meta is capitalizing on the peak frustration with Twitter. The timing seems perfect for Threads to capture the attention of disillusioned users in search of a more positive online experience.

There are still a lot of features that aren’t in place.  Lists and DMs for example.  Many users complained that the app felt chaotic.  As someone who was an early adopter of Twitter, it felt about the same as the early days of the Twitter app.  I’m confident that Zuck has a plan to make things more appealing.  Sometimes you have to launch with “good enough” and continue to improve over time.

It’s also entertaining that, upon launching Threads, Zuckerberg took to Twitter and threw down a gauntlet of sorts. The first time he had posted in years.

Threads is positioned as an Instagram app. It allows us to “follow and connect directly with our favorite creators and others who love the same things.” In essence, it shares similarities with Twitter but potentially places more emphasis on the creators and influencers that dominate Instagram.  That being said, it was interesting to see how many brands had already jumped on board within the first few hours.

I signed up around 8 pm Central Time. At that point, the user base was still relatively small since the app had just been released. However, I was amazed to witness rapid growth within just a few hours. In fact, within a couple of hours, over a million people had already joined the platform. And by the time seven hours had passed since its launch, the user count had skyrocketed to an impressive 10 million.

Of course, with any new platform, opinions vary. In social media groups, I’ve come across a diverse range of perspectives on Threads. Some users have labeled it as a “dumpster fire,” suggesting that there might be some issues or flaws that need addressing. On the other hand, there are those who view Threads as a great alternative to Twitter, providing a refreshing and satisfying user experience.

A thought-provoking question raised by Mark Schafer on LinkedIn caught my attention: “Other than being a place for people who hate Twitter, what unique problem does Threads solve?” It’s an important question that highlights the need for Threads to differentiate itself from its competitors and offer distinct advantages to users.

Only time will tell if Threads has the ability to keep users engaged over a long period of time and become a major social media channel.

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