Tried Threads yet? After less than a week after its public launch, more than 100 million users have joined the platform powered by Instagram. Its rapid adoption was likely made possible in part by the ability to use your Instagram profile and following as a basis to start your Threads account. In short, instead of starting from zero, you have an automatic profile complete with a built-in following.
The idea of another social media platform seems exhausting at first, but I think there will be some distinct benefits, and if I’m being honest, there’s a small measure of schadenfreude in watching Twitter (and its current leadership) spiral a bit. SO I signed up. You can follow me there at @jenneumann. I’ll keep my profile public until the bots show up and make a mess.
Things I’m excited about:
1️⃣ Enhanced Context: Threads focuses on threading conversations, allowing users to follow discussions more effectively. This feature allows users to explore a topic deeply and keeps the conversation organized.
2️⃣ Better Engagement: With an intuitive interface and improved conversation management, Threads encourages active participation and engagement. Users can easily jump into ongoing discussions. Maybe this will reduce my doomscrolling.
3️⃣ The “Fediverse”: (Who doesn’t love a good portmanteau?) Using the ActivityPub open protocol, Threads users will eventually be able to talk to other servers on the fediverse that run on the same protocol. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m intrigued.
4️⃣ A Fresh Start (sort of): Threads provides an opportunity to declutter our social media experience by streamlining conversations into focused threads. This helps minimize information overload and facilitates a more streamlined and enjoyable user experience.
Things I’m concerned about:
1️⃣ Echo Chambers: While Threads promotes better conversation organization, there is a risk of users creating echo chambers where they only engage with like-minded individuals. By starting with your existing followers, you’re already developing the same experience. Diversify and follow others to expand beyond.
2️⃣ Fragmented Conversations: As conversations become threaded, overall context will be important. Contextual awareness is important to maintain productive dialogue.
3️⃣ The damn bots: We know it’s coming. It is currently just a little too easy to sign up. And, of course, with the bots comes deliberate misinformation and divisiveness. We may just all have to develop more immunity to this because it’s going to be a problem.
As a marketer, I’m watching for continued momentum in adoption and how and when to integrate it into our clients’ social media strategies. And, of course, if and when advertising and sponsored posts roll out. As a user, I think about the time it may take to maintain another account. I already let Twitter go when the current leadership took over but had given up on that platform a while ago. Will Threads become a valuable news and information source, as Twitter once was? Time will tell. Watch this space for updates.
Overall, I’m feeling optimistic about this new addition, even though it’s run by Meta, which has not taken full responsibility for issues that it has caused with its own platforms — from disruption and misinformation to the impacts on mental health, specifically in adolescents. But it’s a testament to the continuous evolution of online communication and adaptability. In the meantime, 🤞that it stays relatively positive.