July 14

Five reasons to try the new Twitter lookalike

Welcome to the social media world of déjà vu, where a giant social media company creates a competitor to a giant social media company.

What is Threads?

Threads is the Twitter-like platform that springs from your Instagram account. As the Meta head Mark Zuckerberg said…

With all the social media platforms we already juggle and all the ones we dived into that went poof (hello, BeReal), is it worth your time to sign up for Threads? Here are five reasons why the answer might be yes.

It’s Not Twitter

My brilliant nerdy friend and colleague Phil Gerbyshak said it simply. “I enjoy it. No noise. No jerks. Very fun.” To many of us, Twitter is a mess. It’s political, confusing, inconsistent, hate-filled and frankly just not the Twitter we used to know. I mean, I’m not against growth and change. But when it grows to be a negative space filled with arbitrary rules and unknown credibility, I’m out.

But…

There are several other Twitter-ish tools out there that are giving it a try. Phil says, “I don’t know if it’ll have staying power as it doesn’t solve a problem I have or anyone has.”

It’s Shiny and New

Threads is just 9 days old, and they’re kind of building things as they go. People are excited that they have a fresh start in a new world. You don’t have to carry the baggage of all the words and interactions you’ve had before. The path is yours to create.

Back to Phil (who is killing it on Threads): “I love the interface, no automation or scheduling and the fact I started with a fresh account.”

But…

The newness means they don’t have some of the features we’re used to, such as DMs, search and following feeds. And right now you have to have an Instagram account to use it, and if you delete it, you have to delete your Insta. Oof!

It’s Stupid Easy to Setup

For the 2 billion or so people on Instagram, starting on Threads is as easy as downloading the app and pushing a button. You can also instantly follow all the Instagram people you already follow. That means you have an instant community if you want. When I joined, I was instantly connected to 78 of my Instagram friends who had already signed up for Threads, and there are 393 invitations waiting for other connections when they create accounts.

It’s Funny and Lighthearted

I’ve only been on for a few hours, but when I scroll the feed (with popular posts as well as people I’m following), I see fun posts and a shared camaraderie of people who are excited to be a part of something new. The biggest drama today is not really a drama… people are posting support of the actors’ and writers’ strikes.

All the Cool Kids Are on It

ChatGPT’s insanely fast adoption rate is so seven months ago. Threads took just 5 days to obtain 100 million users, making it the fastest growing platform ever. Brands and celebrities are loving it since it’s a cleaner place than Twitter and fun to be in on the ground floor.

More Comments from Users

I asked around to see what people were thinking of Threads. Here are more insights:

Robert Kennedy III (aka my nerdy buddy RK3):

I’m just testing. Haven’t really created a strategy there and I’m not using twitter for anything these days. There’s not a lot of engagement just yet on MY posts but celebrities are KILLING it! My guess is if you were an Influencer on Instagram, it brings over some of that juice to Threads.

Ernie Smith, writer and another nerdy friend:

Not a fan. (Not really an Instagram fan either, FWIW.) I think the lack of chronological feed and focus on brands is going to make it ultimately less appealing for heavy users. It may be better for brands, but I just don’t like the idea of giving Meta any more of my data if I don’t have to.

I wrote in a recent post of mine that it’s top-down culture, but the best of Twitter was usually bottom-up.

Admittedly, I’m pretty bought into Mastodon at this point, where I have more than 4,000 followers, but because I write about tech, I’m a better fit for that audience.

For live events, I just don’t think it’s set up to be effective. Chronological feeds are better for hashtagged events.

Not a fan. (Not really an Instagram fan either, FWIW.) I think the lack of chronological feed and focus on brands is going to make it ultimately less appealing for heavy users. It may be better for brands, but I just don’t like the idea of giving Meta any more of my data if I don’t have to.

I wrote in a recent post of mine that it’s top-down culture, but the best of Twitter was usually bottom-up.

Admittedly, I’m pretty bought into Mastodon at this point, where I have more than 4,000 followers, but because I write about tech, I’m a better fit for that audience.

For live events, I just don’t think it’s set up to be effective. Chronological feeds are better for hashtagged events.

Sabrina Kidwai, membership director:

I really like Threads from a community perspective. It’s been fun to see how people are reacting to the new app and how quickly Meta is updating it and open about how they are constantly working to fix things and add things in. I’ve seen some changes already after joining it within the first 24 hours. I follow some celebrities on it, and they are showing their humanistic side more. My friends are on it, too. I’m lurking more than posting, but I’m sure I’ll start to post more in the coming weeks. I’m following some brands, and Weight Watchers handle has been so funny and using puns and other humor tactics they haven’t used in other platforms. A few other brands have been funnier on this one than others, so far.

I still use Twitter a little bit. I watch it more for breaking news than anything else. Some of news people I follow use Twitter to share their news stories.. Right now, the biggest difference is you can’t DM on Threads yet. I love sharing tweets with my friends through DMs. That’s the biggest difference.

Jill McKenzie, membership and sponsorship director:

I am really hoping that Threads will become what Twitter was at its peak. I read that it took off SO much faster than the creators expected, and we’ll see several enhancements over the next month and I hope so. Feels like the wild west right now – very chaotic.

Have You Tried Threads?

What are your thoughts on the new platform. Leave a comment below or join the discussion on LinkedIn.


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