Instant Reaction — Will Threads (Meta) replace Twitter?
Threads is Meta’s answer to Twitter — a place to share text, image, and video with friends and followers.
For more than a decade, Twitter has been an important tool for campaigns, advocacy groups, news and media, and for niche community groups — to build, organize, and spread ideas across the globe.
But the last few months have been tough on Twitter. Instability on the platform, controversial political takes from owner Elon Musk, and abrupt changes in the platform’s policies (sometimes several a day), have caused advertisers to flee, hate speech to rise, and progressives to boycott the platform and look seriously for an alternative.
Launched in early July, Threads is the latest attempt to replace Twitter, and it’s very similar — in theory.
You can post the same type of content, and the user base quickly exploded thanks to integration with Instagram.
Threads gained 100 million users in just five days — surpassing Pokémon Go and making it the fastest growing app of all time.
But we’ve also seen reports that Threads engagement has already started to fall — losing daily users and time spent on app.
Here’s why Threads is not a Twitter replacement — yet.
Twitter is a useful app because it allows users to easily discover and engage with new communities — something missing from Threads.
There are no hashtags, no trending topics, no keywords.
There is no web or desktop interface yet — meaning conversations only happen in app.
And the newsfeed for most users is littered with content from influencers, athletes, and celebrities — the amount of relevant content I see on Threads right now is almost zero, even though I’ve done my best to follow people in the communities I’m interested in hearing from.
But Threads has a lot going for it, and could easily build these features.
Unlike Twitter, Threads seems to just ‘work’ all the time — the next time there’s a Twitter outage, don’t be surprised to see a huge flurry of activity on Threads.
Threads also has the benefit of direct integration with Instagram. Twitter was very much geared towards the ‘very online’ crowd — people who wanted to connect with other like minded people, or people with a perspective to share. Threads will involve a much broader audience — which could be great news for content creators and advertisers.
But, if Threads can’t match Twitter’s functionality soon — content creators may give up.
There are already so many social media platforms and you can’t be everywhere at once. Especially with no easy-to-use desktop platform, content creators may quickly give up on Threads if they are not seeing the same engagement they get elsewhere.
So it remains to be seen if Meta is up to the task. Can they deliver updates that match or exceed the community building capabilities of Twitter?
Or will users get bored quickly and move on before these changes happen?
As of today, we’re not telling our clients to invest much time and energy into Threads. But that could easily change.
We do recommend you reserve your username, set up a profile, and introduce yourself — and be ready to do more if Threads continues to grow and develop useful features.
But for the time being, we’re mostly sticking to Twitter.
What’s your plan for Threads? Are you seeing better engagement on Threads, or Twitter, or other social media platforms right now?
Send me an email at email@example.com or find us on Threads @testerdigitalagency.
Ready to take on Threads or any other social media project? We can help — get in touch and find out if testerdigital’s services are a good fit for you!