Threads, the newly launched social media platform backed by Mark Zuckerberg, is making waves as a potential competitor to Twitter. The platform has experienced a rapid influx of users since its launch, with over 10 million sign-ups within the first seven hours, and an impressive 23 million by the following morning. This surge in sign-ups is indicated by the number of Instagram badges, which are awarded to Instagram users when they register for Threads.
Threads operates in conjunction with Instagram, requiring users to create their Threads account using their existing Instagram credentials. This close integration between the two platforms allows users to import their Instagram following list to Threads seamlessly. Moreover, users who have been verified on Instagram will find their verification status automatically transferred to Threads when they create their account.
However, this close integration between Threads and Instagram also has implications for account management. Specifically, if a user decides they no longer wish to use Threads, they cannot delete their Threads account without also deleting their associated Instagram account. Similarly, if a user violates the community guidelines on Threads and has their Threads account banned, their Instagram account will also be banned. Even changing their Threads username requires users to change their Instagram username, reflecting the tight interlinking of the two platforms.
Despite its rapid growth and popularity, Threads currently lacks some features that users might expect from a social media platform. For instance, there is no option to view a chronological feed of the people a user follows. Instead, the platform’s algorithm presents posts from people it believes the user wants to see, based on who they follow. Other limitations include the lack of post editing, hashtags, direct messaging, and the ability to easily switch between multiple accounts. Furthermore, Threads is not currently available in Europe.
However, Threads is not standing still. Future versions of the platform are expected to integrate with ActivityPub, a decentralized social networking protocol. This represents a significant shift for Meta, the parent company of Threads and Instagram, which has traditionally relied on a centralized model for its social media apps. Decentralized platforms differ from centralized ones in that they are controlled by multiple entities rather than a single organization. This shift towards decentralization could have significant implications for how Meta operates and monetizes its platforms.
In conclusion, Threads represents an exciting new development in the social media landscape. Despite its current limitations and the challenges associated with transitioning to a decentralized model, the platform’s rapid growth and close integration with Instagram suggest that it has the potential to become a major player in the social media space.