It has been impossible to fully realize the promise of text-based direct communication on a public platform.
Sure, you can text with friends, but that’s a closed network. Twitter’s micro-thoughts have led to trolls, abuse, harassing, and arguments.
If you take away the well-constructed photos and videos (many from agencies that sell stock images) made by companies, what is left? In most cases, just one individual sharing memes and pithy comments.
And now, there’s Threads.
I’ve been testing the app like everyone else the last two days, and so far I’m impressed with the simple mechanics of posting, the threaded conversations, and the polite interactions between people who are also curious about the latest social media launch.
This is so much like Twitter that it’s a little scary, though. Meta was the only one who could have launched an app that so brazenly copied from Twitter’s original platform without any fear of users or lawsuits. I have yet to see a single post on Threads suggesting that the app is a Twitter clone, which doesn’t surprise me since we’re all trying to stay positive. It’s another slick social media app designed to let us share our thoughts with the world. Who would have an issue with this?
Well, for starters — there isn’t really anything new here at all. I’ve mentioned before how Truth Social was a disaster from day one because it didn’t offer a new experience. Instead of retweets you can share a “retruth” instead. On Threads, you can do a rethread. This all seems a little familiar.
And yet, there’s something about it. It’s easy to navigate through your contacts without any fluff, thanks to the clean interface. As the author Jon Acuff recently noted on Threads, he’s a writer who gravitates towards text-based messages. The same here. I often don’t post on Instagram simply because I’m not that into photography or video. I don’t make any reels or stories because it’s just not in my main wheelhouse. I’ve always preferred Twitter for that reason, which is what makes the Threads launch so interesting.
Twitter, if you stop to think about it is basically a more sophisticated version of Threads (without the abuse). Currently, I only have about 18500 followers on Twitter and 59 on Threads. Will I be able to build my Twitter followers up from scratch if I have to manage another app myself? I don’t think so.
Threads is a great app, which I can see catching on. I have already seen it do so. But in terms of staying power and real longevity, I don’t know why I bother to build up my Threads site and post constantly.
The only thing Threads could do is remind users that they can still use Twitter to send text messages.
Say what you want about Elon Musk (and, believe me, I have said a lot) and his plans to make a free and open portal, the core concept behind Twitter — which he did not invent — is still sound. Removing the layers. Facilitate communication. Remove all the eye candy. The Threads site may have it all, and that’s what I like. It’s possible that I will gravitate towards Threads, and begin to post more. But I’m going to get quickly overloaded by the effort required to manage another app and build up a following. I’ve already invested 10 years doing that on Twitter.
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