While the world awaits a physical showdown between tech giants Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, turns out the fight has already begun in cyberspace. Musk’s Twitter alternative Thread is here, and as a new kid on the block, it is making quite a loud noise. Right after its release, Thread gained about 10 million sign-ups in just seven hours. But that’s not all, Thread has also surpassed 100 million users in just under 5 days at a significant rate compared to Open-AI’s ChatGPT, which took about 2 months.
Let’s say you have opened up a Threads account but the platform hasn’t really clicked, so you have decided to opt out from it. While doing so, you just came to realize that deleting your Threads account will also wipe out your Instagram profile, which is kinda bummer. But that’s just the start, and there are tons of other loopholes that many users are facing since the launch. With that being said, let’s talk about why Thread will never be a threat to Twitter.
How It Start?
Before its launch, Threads used to go by the name Project 92 and was designed to be a direct rival to Musk’s Twitter. This does make sense as Twitter is going through a rough patch recently and people are searching for alternate platforms to migrate. u
Moreover, Coding for Threads began in January, and as per Meta’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox’s statement, public figures such as Oprah and Dalai Lama showed interest in endorsing the platform in hopes to create an audience base who prefer peace of mind. While the hype is certainly there, what does the reality entail?
How do They Work?
While on the surface, it might seem that Threads and Twitter are almost identical, there are some minor differences here and there. Threads are aimed to be a text-based platform that focuses on sharing trendy updates and creating a public conversation hub where people can come and share their opinion. But unlike Twitter, where people can write freely about their opinion, whether it is a political view or sensitive topic, Threads is more regulated and has certain restrictions on what people can post.
Hype vs Reality
Mark Zuckerburg along with his Meta platforms has faced and is still facing plenty of lawsuits regarding privacy and security concerns. Take the recent Cambridge Analytica law-suit for example. A judge has determined that Mark Zuckerberg along with other former directors of the company, will have to address allegations that they ignored widespread privacy breaches. These breaches reportedly involved the permission granted to a firm hired by Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign to gather information on millions of Facebook users.
But that’s not all, let’s not forget Meta’s predatory actions which often are labeled as Meta Monopoly. One such action is when Meta is known to buy up rivals that can be a direct threat to their social media dominance.
So among all these loopholes, can individuals genuinely trust Threads as a platform that ensures “peace of mind” and won’t compromise their data?
Even if we put these concerns aside, Threads as an app itself is still incomplete. It is missing plenty of major features that are readily available on almost all platforms. For starters, there is no search function for the app which will get troublesome for exploring both content and user profiles. Secondly, Threads is also missing a followers tab along with the ability to save up favorite posts or bookmark them. There is also a limit on how many posts you can view, no hashtags, no way of messaging, and even a lack of emojis. Almost all of the major social media platform has a way of communication, and the lack of personal communication on Threads is a major issue. On top of that, having no option for putting up hashtags also is kinda bummer as well. The list goes on, depicting how Threads is just a husk of a social media platform and is far from complete.
And let’s not forget the fact that Instagram Integration is a must if you want to open up a Threads account. While this is not that big of a deal for some, the problem starts when or if you decide to call it quits with the platform. Deleting your Threads account also wipes out your Instagram profile which is kinda big of a deal.
And there are the content restrictions in the hopes of making Threads a “peace of mind” app. While Twitter promotes free speech to let users write their hearts out, you can’t talk about sensitive topics such as politics or news in Threads as they will be restricted instantaneously. According to the statement of the Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, “Threads isn’t for news and politics”. Which further puts Threads one step down from its rival, Twitter.
Talking about rivalry, Elon Musk is not sitting idle while Threads steps up to grab a piece of the pie. He recently Tweeted about how he is fine with Threads emerging as a competitor, but not with how it is approaching the competition. And if you look closely, Threads indeed is “heavily inspired” by Twitter’s design, or as some might say a master copy. There is even news surrounding how Meta has recruited Ex Twitter employees and gotten hold of their “trade secrets” to build Threads. The drama is just stirring up and Threads might soon go through privacy restrictions as it is yet to be released in the EU.
Despite the initial hype and rapid sign-ups, Threads is unlikely to pose a significant threat to Twitter. Meta’s predatory actions and the incomplete state of the Threads app further diminish its credibility. On top of that, content restrictions and the lack of key features also undermine its potential. Additionally, Elon Musk doesn’t seem to be stepping down as he aims to crack down on the whole scenario with possible legal actions. These factors collectively suggest that Threads will struggle to compete with Twitter’s established dominance.
However, there is a good chance that both of these apps can co-exist with their own sets of userbase. Twitter might continue growing as a free-speech platform, while Threads will be more focused on a niche audience who like to engage and talk casually on various topics.