I Used Threads for 36 hours – Here’s What I Love and Hate about Meta’s Twitter Rival

Here's my take after a full day on Meta's Threads later

Meta’s Threads app draws millions seeking a Twitter alternative, and it looks a lot like Twitter, which is exactly the point.

Mark Zuckerberg launched Twitter to lure its companion’s away from its floundering competitor with a near-clone of Elon Musk-owned Twitter.

After Meta’s sales pitch for Threads and launch on Wednesday, I tested the new text-based social network to see if it fails to impress, or should Mr Elon be shuddering?

But, I think, it’d be a mistake to underestimate both Twitter and Elon. See, Twitter has got a lot of history, a legacy, an incredibly strong and vibrant community on it.

The network effects are insanely strong. A bunch of advertisers pulling their budgets doesn’t necessarily affect the network engagement at all; in fact, it might even help and not hurt over the long run.

Threads, an Instagram-connected, microblogging app, is now a mainstream talk. The best part is that you can start threading with an iOS or Android smartphone. You can follow a simple set of steps to download Threads, create account and it set up.

So, I decided to spend a little more than 24 hours as a Threads user. A few of my Instagram friends have joined me in making Threads account and sharing around their Threads handles. It was fun!

Even my colleagues who avoided the blue bird app seem to be trying out the new text-based online conversations’ app.

With Twitter getting clunkier and progressively less usable since Musk took it over, Threads seeped in with a new product on the market – and it actually feels like a breath of fresh air, specially with how we see and engage with content.

Well, there are a lot of features that Threads is missing out on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Threads has nothing to offer.

“Obviously, Twitter pioneered the space,” Mosseri said. “But just given everything that was going on, we thought there was an opportunity to build something that was open and something that was good for the community that was already using Instagram.”

That said, if you are considering the pros and cons of Threads vs. Twitter due to the recent hot talk, I’m excited by what I’ve found on Threads from getting started to using it for more than a day. But there are some things I’m not as thrilled about, too. 😔

Here’s what I love and hate about Threads after using the Twitter competitor after its launch.

A Brief: Getting Started

Threads by Instagram is the top free app in the App Store and Google Play stores. If you want to join Threads, go to either of the app store and type in “Threads, an Instagram app” into the search bar. Download the text-based app. Once it is installed, open it. The app will ask you to connect to your Instagram account to sign up.

Here’s everything that I like — and dislike — in Threads?

What I Love About Threads

The foremost thing I admire is how easy it is to sign up for Threads. It’s a perfect overlap between accounts you follow on Instagram for their epic photographs with accounts you want to read for their text.

While it uses an Instagram account to sign up for Threads, the system doesn’t mean that your Instagram friends and followers will automatically follow you on Threads. You’ll have to build up that audience all over again.

It works like Twitter – in many ways

Now, of course, Meta product vice president says that “Threads is a new app that’s focused on text and dialogue. And the way that we think about this is we’re modeling it after what Instagram has done for photo and video,” but in many ways, the new text-based app works exactly like Twitter.

We know Threads is built to stimulate public conversations and the text is limited to 500 characters each. You mention other people by using the @symbol in front of their username. Similarly, you can reply to someones else’s post.

You can also quote or repost someone else’s threads by clicking a button. When you start posting or threading, you have the option to include photos and videos in Threads. They won’t show up as Instagram posts or Reels, though.

Do keep a note that there aren’t native integrations between the two apps. So, if you want to share Instagram photos and videos on Reels on Threads, they will show up just as regular links.

As far as I have experienced, there is no separate direct messaging function. You also have a bit more control over the audience who can see what you post. There are no hashtags or trending topics function and there’s also no way to edit Threads after you post them.

Almost everyone is trying and playing nice on Threads

The threads or posts so far are either about the launch of Threads, jokes, and pretty mild conversation. Threads gives a nice vibe. You get to see plenty of memes, self-promotions, and sarcastic jokes. That’s about it.

Media carousels are my favorite feature

I like the way posts are displayed. Yes, when you upload a group of photos and videos, they take the form of a horizontal carousel that you can swipe through without having to expand the post. This is an intuitive way to tell a story or share a moment that text can’t simply convey.

There are no ads (so far)

Threads has no ads. But, it won’t stay that way. Meta will leverage its tracking data and target them with ads to drive the vast majority of its revenue.

What I Dislike About Threads

You can’t take your Twitter friends with you. The list of accounts you spent years following over on the app takes no easy way to port that list into Threads.

Your feed is chosen by an algorithm, not you

When you launch Threads, you’re welcomed into a feed of threads that’s a mix of accounts you’ve chosen to follow and algorithmically generated suggestions.

There is no way to make Threads show you only the posts from accounts you’ve chosen to follow. There is also no way to clear the home screen of Threads from people you didn’t select.

In a thread, Mosseri stated that you can stop seeing Threads from a particular account by “muting” it. This option is available behind the three-dots menu at the top right of each post.

There’s also no way to make your feed ordered chronologically. Your feed is instead organized by what the Threads algorithm thinks you might find most interesting.

And then there are the longstanding privacy issues

Watchdogs have raised a number of concerns about Threads, as the tech giant sucks 100M+ users into its universe. Threads is able to collect a wide range of personal information including health, financial, contacts, browsing, search history, location data, purchases, and sensitive info, according to its data privacy disclosure on the App Store.

Like Twitter, Threads accounts can be either public or private. When you want it public, you can also adjust the groups who can reply to everyone, only the accounts you follow or just the ones you mention in the post.

Be careful before you delete it

You can only delete and deactivate your Threads account by deleting your entire Instagram account.

Threads wants to make life easier for creators

Meta says that Threads wants to make it easier for creators to try a new text-based social media app. The tech giant wants you to encourage your fan base on Instagram to join Threads to start rather than building a new following from scratch.

But that doesn’t necessarily, mean that every creator’s followers will be interested in the new app.

You can’t toggle between accounts

You can’t log into multiple Threads accounts at once, juxtaposed to Instagram, where you can make the switch easily. This makes it a little hard to share specific interests from secondary accounts.

Joe Warne
Joe Warne
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