Threads: the Future of Social Media?

August 31, 2023
Threads: The future of social media?

Threads is the newest app from Meta, formerly Facebook, that has created buzz in its attempt to be the new Twitter. For years now many apps have tried to take the place of Twitter and the niche it’s filled for so long but have come up short, yet Threads is somehow different. 


Threads came into the scene hot with a record amount of sign-ups at 70 million and an outstanding 95 million posts on the same day. This blows competitors, such as X (formerly Twitter),, out of the water. 


For example, Bluesky, an X (formerly Twitter) competitor that is also fairly new, only sees about 8,000 new sign-ups per day. This largely has to do with how both apps have been set up, Bluesky from day one had made itself more of an exclusive app only allowing an exclusive amount of people to come in. The waiting list to get into Bluesky can be weeks to months. However, Threads had a huge advantage allowing any Instagram user to seamlessly make a new account through their existing Instagram account. This helped Threads to become the fastest-downloaded app ever, beating ChatGPT.


With a historic launch, many believe that Threads could beat X and become the future of social media. Here are a few things we have learned in the past two months since Threads launched that could tell us about the future of social media.



What makes Threads different from Instagram and X?


Since Meta is the parent company of both Threads and Instagram, the two are linked in many ways. The biggest connection between the two is the users since many users have joined through their Instagram accounts.


However, the two platforms are very different, with Instagram focusing more on images while Threads is more discussion-focused. Threads is very much inspired by X (formerly Twitter) and wants to emulate what made the social network so popular.


Threads are more focused on creating discussions through a series of posts that can be combined to form a story of sorts like X. The biggest difference between the two platforms is that Threads allows longer content than X, with posts up to 500 characters and videos of 5 minutes to all users. Threads however does have a noticeable lack of hashtags and trending pages that makes X very popular for discoverability. The new platform also currently has no paid subscription unlike X, which has made that app very controversial lately.


Many of these features are open to change considering how new Threads is, making it more of an open beta users can use. The bigger question is if the app can emulate what made X (formerly Twitter) so popular and retain users in the meantime. The past two months can provide a lot of insight into Thread’s future.


Threads two months later:


Threads started hot, bringing in many celebrities from Shakira to Bill Gates, while also giving certain celebrities early access to allow the new app to already have content at launch. However, shortly after the launch, we saw a very big dip in usage of many celebrities, such as Britney Spears who posted a few posts in the first week and has yet to post another since. Other users like Katy Perry created an account only to never post a single post. 


However, certain influencers have been fairly active on Threads treating it like their other accounts. Jimmy Fallon had kept pretty consistent with posting on Threads the same amount as he had on X. Wiz Khalifa had also posted a considerable amount more than most influencers, posting more than 30 times in the first month. 


These trends of influencers also seem to be a common theme with most users as well. In the past two months, Threads have cooled down a lot and have seen a noticeable decrease in usage. However many factors could mean hope for Meta’s new X competitor.



The Future of Threads:


While usage of Threads has considerably decreased in the past two months, the app did launch as a work in progress. The original launch had only allowed access to the app and did not have an actual website. The website for Threads had only recently launched as of late August, providing a new way to interact with the platform. Considering the desktop version of Twitter helped it gain the popularity it has today, we can only speculate that the desktop version of threads will help raise its popularity. 


Another factor that could help Threads in the future is the controversial nature that X has surrounded itself with. Many changes Elon Musk has made to the platform recently have been received very negatively by a large group of long-time Twitter users. 


Especially with the removal of blue check verification in favor of blue check subscription service, allowing anyone to amplify themselves on the platform for a small charge. The platform had also changed the way it moderated offensive content recently, further driving away many users and advertisers alike from the platform. 


Many of these controversial changes can add up over time when it comes to average users and advertisers alike. While Threads does not currently have a feature for advertising, it is in the works and that can become a game changer when it comes to revenue and usage for the app.


Truth is the future of Threads is very vague at the moment, its historic number of downloads can either hurt or help it in the future. If Threads can see an increased number of influencers, users, and advertisers flock to the website from X it could quickly become one of the biggest social media platforms. 


The app already has a large advantage being owned by the parent company of two of the biggest social media networks Facebook and Instagram. If the platform uses its momentum and makes changes over time to promote more users switching sides, Meta could own three of the largest social networks on the market. The only thing we know at the moment is that when it comes to social media users have more options than ever before, and the landscape is wildly changing. 


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