In less than a week after it went live to the public, Threads has welcomed a staggering 100 million users. This explosive start has shot Threads to the top as the fastest-growing app in the world. This is because everyone is buzzing with curiosity to see if it can live up to the hype of becoming the Twitter replacement.
However, the success has declined as Threads’ active users alarmingly drop by 70% from the peak as users were left frustrated. Many complain that Threads lacked several “obvious features”. The search functionality is limited to finding accounts, but not people’s posts or topics. There is no option to see posts from only the people you follow. Moreover, direct messages and a button to edit posts are unavailable. It appears that these shortcomings are due to Meta wanting to release the app quickly, as said by Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram.
In addition, some people also said that they want Instagram and Threads to be separated as they would really like to have a different list of followings on each app. They would also favour the ability to save photos to their phone gallery and choose images from albums rather than recent photos.
That said, let’s remember that Threads is still in its infancy. There’s plenty of room to improve and we’ll just have to wait and see how it evolves over time.
Threads is NOT a Twitter killer
Contrary to the sensationalised claims of Threads being a Twitter killer, the app’s goal isn’t to replace Twitter. Instead, as Mosseri said, “The goal is to create a public square for communities on Instagram that never really embraced Twitter and for communities on Twitter (and other platforms) that are interested in a less angry place for conversations.”
Since Facebook and Instagram business models are primarily based on selling advertising spots, Mosseri said that Threads won’t actively promote or prioritise politics and hard news content to maintain a brand-friendly environment. Meta also has spent the past few years distancing itself from news and downranking it on Facebook and Instagram. This effort may be to be more appealing to advertisers.
Twitter’s primary business model is also selling advertising spaces. It was estimated that 90% of its revenue came from advertising in 2021. Even then, it was barely enough to cover its costs due to Twitter being non-brand-friendly.
As we know, explicit material, hate speech, violent imagery, debates on sensitive political issues, conversations that expose brands’ bad behaviours, or even nude images are on Twitter uncontrollably compared to Instagram. It gets worse after Musk decided to push Twitter further into a more open and free-for-all nature. So, major companies don’t want their ads to appear next to them. They would stay away from Twitter and be more active on Instagram and Facebook.
In the short run, it may look dangerous to Twitter but not in the long run after Twitter’s rebranding to X. X may be a step to cope with Twitter’s financial problems by turning the platform into an everything app that offers other services. This opens up more sources of income to avoid the burden of relying primarily on advertising revenue.
In conclusion, Threads are aiming to build on the success of Instagram and become the brand-friendly version of Twitter. This will provide additional advertising space for people and companies to promote their products, directly increasing advertising income.
While for Twitter, advertising may not be its primary revenue in the near future as the rebranding to X may change that. Twitter’s toxicity, hate speech, nudity, and online harassment may still be the same but with added services and features.
So, it’s clear that neither Threads nor Twitter is trying to replace the other. They each have their unique goals and challenges, and time will tell how they both evolve in this dynamic digital landscape.