Threads by Meta: Six Months On, Does the Hashtag #twitterkiller Hold Up?

By Michael Ainomugisha

With Threads, a text-based social media network that aims to unseat Twitter as the current leader in online micro-conversations, Meta made a splash half a year ago.

As not to be left out, I happened onto the topic of discussion. After utilizing my Instagram account to join discussions, I stopped using the app after two months.

Conventional Instagram users attempted to post more frequently but were unable to generate the same level of engagement; as a result, they deleted the app.

Introduced during a whirlwind of controversy surrounding Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, Threads offered a “friendly” substitute, emphasizing humorous content and steering clear of the political controversies that had become the norm on its competitor.

So, six months later, can we declare Threads a Twitter conqueror? Not quite. While its initial burst of popularity saw millions onboard, the jury’s still out on its long-term sustainability.

Here’s the scorecard:

Ease of use: Threads seamlessly integrates with Instagram, leveraging its existing user base and familiar interface.

Emphasis on positivity: Threads aims to make the internet a more enjoyable place with its “lighthearted” motto and moderation tools.

Text-first format: A specialized site called Threads perfectly satisfies the needs of certain users for the pure conversational power of text.

Lack of innovation: Threads’ and Twitter’s primary features are quite and remarkably similar. Is this just a recently painted old house?

Monopolistic worries: Concerns regarding data privacy and platform neutrality are brought up by Meta’s ownership. Is it possible to flee from one tech titan and join another?

Content limitations: With its 500-character limit and focus on ephemeral “Threads,” can the platform foster nuanced discussions on complex issues?

Unquestionably appealing, Threads’ long-term viability depends on how it responds to important queries. Is it able to distinguish itself from Twitter in a different way? Can it continue to have a “friendly” vibe when the number of users and engagement increase? Above all, can it alleviate worries about Meta’s hegemony and establish an authentically more salubrious virtual environment?

Whether Threads is a revolution or merely a remix is still up for debate, but for now, it’s still a promising attempt. It may not have been the instant #twitterkiller that some had predicted, but it has undoubtedly added a new chapter to the ongoing tale of online discourse. Whether that chapter develops into an exciting cliffhanger or a foreseeable ending is still to be seen.

So, what do you think? Have Threads won you over, or are you sticking with the black and white X?