Why Meta Threads are Twitter's biggest threat to date

Why Meta Threads are Twitter’s biggest threat to date

Launching a social networking application threads As a competitor to Twitter it is a game changer.

Meta, which also owns Facebook and Instagram, launched the new platform yesterday, ahead of schedule. The thread was greeted almost immediately – particularly by the legions of Twitter users who watched in dismay on their favorite platform. crumble in the hands Elon Musk.

In less than 24 hours, the threads pulled About 30 million users. And with Meta already having over 2 billion Instagram users who can link their accounts directly to it, Thread’s user base is only going to grow rapidly.

Mark Zuckerberg posted on the threads to celebrate his 30 million new users.  Image: Threads/The Conversation

Mark Zuckerberg posted on the threads to celebrate his 30 million new users. Image: Threads/The Conversation

With its simple black and white feed, and features that let you reply, like, quote and comment on other people’s “threads,” the similarities between Threads and Twitter are obvious.

The question now is: will it be Topics that finally displaces Twitter?

We’ve been here before

In October last year, Twitter users looked on helplessly when Elon Musk became CEO. Mastodon was the first “escape plan”. But many found its decentralized servers difficult And confusing to usewith very different communities and content bases for each.

Many Twitter fans created “backup” Mastodon accounts in case Twitter went down, and waited to see what Musk would do next. The wait wasn’t long. Platform instability and outages became commonplace as Musk began laying off Twitter employees (he’s now fired about 80% of Twitter’s original workforce).

Soon after, Musk terrorized users and made headlines by upending Twitter’s verification system and forcing “blue tick” holders to pay for the privilege of authentication. This opened the door to widespread impersonation of accounts and the sharing of misinformation. Some large corporate brands have left the platform, taking up Advertising dollars with them.

Musk also described trusted news organizations like the BBC as “state-owned” media, until the backlash forced him to back down. Recently, it started limiting the number of tweets users could view and announced that TweetDeck (a management tool for scheduling tweets) would be limited to paid accounts.

Twitter users have tried several alternatives, including Spoutible and Post. Bluesky, which comes from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is gaining traction — but its growth has been limited by an invitation-only sign-up process.

Nothing has captured the imagination of Twitter followers… until now.

The threads were joined by a number of popular figures, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama, Shakira, Gordon Ramsay and Ellen DeGeneres.  Image: Threads/The Conversation

The threads were joined by a number of popular figures, including Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama, Shakira, Gordon Ramsay and Ellen DeGeneres. Image: Threads/The Conversation

Community is the key to success

Before Musk’s reign, Twitter enjoyed many years of success. It has long been a home for journalists, governments, academics and the public to share information on the key issues of the day. In an emergency, Twitter provided real-time support. During some of the worst disasters, users have exchanged information and Make life saving decisions.

While not without flaws – like trolls, robots and Online Abuse – Twitter’s verification process and ability to block and report inappropriate content has been central to its success in building a thriving community.

This is also what sets Filament apart from competitors. By connecting threads to Instagram, Meta has given itself a head start toward reaching the critical mass of users needed to establish itself as the leading platform (a privilege Mastodon didn’t enjoy).

Topic users can not only keep their usernames, but they can also bring their Instagram followers with them. The ability to maintain a community in an app that provides a similar experience to Twitter is what makes Threads the biggest threat yet.

My research shows that people crave power, authenticity, and community the most when they interact with information online. in our area new bookco-authors Donald O. Case, Rebecca Wilson and I explain how users seek information from sources they know and trust.

Twitter fans want an alternative platform with similar functionality, but more importantly, they want to quickly find “the people.” They don’t want to rebuild their communities. This is likely why so many remain on Twitter, even as Musk has done so well to run it off the ground.

challenges ahead

Of course, Twitter users may also be wary of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Signing up comes to another Meta app that has its own interests.

New thread users who read the fine print will note that their information will be used to “personalize ads and other experiences” across both platforms. Users pointed out that you cannot delete your threads account unless you delete your Instagram account.

This type of anchoring may be unacceptable to some.

Moreover, Meta decided not to launch Thread anywhere in the EU yesterday due to regulatory concerns. The new EU Digital Markets Act may raise challenges on the subjects.

For example, the law specifies that companies cannot “track end users outside of a domain.” [their] Serving the underlying platform for the purpose of targeted advertising, without active consent.” This may conflict with threads privacy policy.

Mita also has it Announce plans To eventually move threads towards a decentralized infrastructure. In the app’s How Threads Work details, it says “Future versions of threads will work with fedayeen“, enabling “people to follow and interact with each other on various platforms, including Mastodon”.

This means that people will be able to view and interact with thread content from non-meta accounts, without having to register in threads. With the ActivityPub standard (which enables decentralized interoperability between platforms), threads can function in the same way as WordPress, Mastodon, and email servers – users of one server can interact with others.

When and how Topic achieves this plan for decentralized sharing — and how that might affect users’ experience — is unclear.

Have you stolen meta “trade secrets”?

As for Musk, he won’t go down without a fight. Just hours after the threads were released, Twitter attorney Alex Spiro released a letter accusing Meta of “systematic” and “unlawful” misappropriation of trade secrets.

the letter Allegedly, former Twitter employees hired by Meta were “deliberately assigned” to “develop the fake Meta app ‘Threads’ in a matter of months.” Meta has disputed the allegations, Based on the reportsHowever, the rivalry between the two companies seems far from over. DM

This story was first published on Conversation.

Lisa m. Geffen is Professor of Information Science and Director of the Possible Impact of Social Change Program at RMIT University.


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