Exciting Time For Threads

Meta’s new platform set to steal the limelight as it offers cushion to subscribers diverting from Twitter

By Muzaffar Rizvi

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

Published: Fri 28 Jul 2023, 4:27 PM

Last updated: Fri 28 Jul 2023, 5:22 PM

Meta’s latest social media platform Threads has posed serious challenges to its established rival Twitter by registering an overwhelming response from the subscribers with over 100 million sign-ups in the first five days of launch.

The app's sprint to 100 million users was much speedier than that of OpenAI-owned ChatGPT, which became the fastest-growing consumer application in history earlier this year in January about two months after its launch.


Industry experts see a bright outlook for the new rival of Twitter as celebrities, politicians, newsmakers, and corporates are considering Threads as an alternative to the Elon Musk-owned microblogging app. Brands like Billboard, HBO, NPR, and Netflix also joined Meta’s new app within minutes of its launch.

"Let's do this. Welcome to Threads," Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his first post on the platform.


Threads is available in more than 100 countries on both Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store. The app, which bears a strong resemblance to Twitter, allows posts that are up to 500 characters long and supports links, photos and videos of up to five minutes.

Analysts said Threads is going to give a tough time to Twitter as it would easily attract social media subscribers who show their resentment over recently imposed limits on the number on tweets users can see as well as a monthly/yearly fee for the blue verified tick. Currently, there are no ads on the Threads app and Meta’s chief Mark Zuckerberg said the company would only think about monetisation once there was a clear path to one billion users.

"Investors can't help but be a little excited about the prospect that Meta really has a 'Twitter-Killer'," said Danni Hewson, head of financial analysis at investment firm AJ Bell.

With an annual advertising revenue of $39.63 billion, Meta — the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and now Threads — is in a better position to offer cushion to subscribers diverting from Twitter. It is an easy transition for the three billion users across Meta platforms to join a new app as most of the Twitter users already have a Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp account and they will simultaneously shift to Threads.

Abhinav Purohit, a UAE-based strategy consultant specialising in ICT, the introduction of Threads into a space previously dominated by Twitter will push both platforms towards better innovation and introduction of new features, which will ultimately benefit the users and open up more options for them. “The one thing both platforms will have to watch out for will be the polarisation that has become endemic on social platforms today. Twitter already faces concordable flak on this issue; and Threads –- starting out –- must ensure it has enough content moderation tools to ensure negativity does not proliferate on the platform,” Purohit said.

Sharing missing elements in new app, experts say Threads does not yet have a direct messaging function and lacks a desktop version that certain users, such as business organisations, rely on. It also currently lacks hashtags and keyword search functions, which limits its appeal to advertisers and its utility as a place for following real-time events like users frequently do on Twitter.

Key Difference

Threads allows more content per post for normal (unverified) accounts (500-vs280-character count and 5:00 min vs 2:20 min for video length in Threads vs Twitter). This will allow more creativity in the messaging and is likely to boost post engagements.

Advantage Threads

  • The new platform will be beneficial for corporates and brands that will get a bigger pallet to convey their messages.
  • Threads is fully integrated with Instagram, it would hit the ground running – with corporates & brands leveraging off their existing Instagram profiles, and thus have a targeted & well curated community accessible to them from the start.
  • The existing sales & marketing prowess of Instagram and its proven ad-backed business model will benefit Threads too.
  • For influencers, and normal users, who have to organically grow their profiles, it will take some time before their reach expands on Threads to the same level as it is on Twitter (or other platforms).
  • So at least in the initial stages, Threads will have to incentivise its content creators with good rewards for them to be motivated to remain active on the platform.

New Features

How to view posts

Your feed on Threads allows you to view posts from other profiles, now with two options:

  • For you is a view of your Threads feed that includes a mix of posts from profiles you’ve chosen to follow and recommended accounts.
  • Following will only show posts from people you follow in chronological order.

Translations

  • Threads posts in feed are translated automatically based on the language they're written in and the language settings of the person viewing it.
  • If you see a thread in a different language, and your language is available as a translation, you can tap the translation button at the bottom right of the post or reply to see it.

New categories

  • New categories will sort your feed so you can filter by follows, quotes and reposts
  • A Follow button on your followers list to easily follow other accounts back.
  • The users will see posts they’ve liked in their settings and the option for private accounts to batch 'approve all' follow requests.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com



More news from Business Technology Review