Hope may be a helpless endeavor in the search for good social media, but — and I can’t believe I’m saying this — Meta might be onto something with Threads. Zuck’s vanilla Twitter clone has sucked in over 110 million users since its release the other week, and people seem to like it.
I like it too. Threads’ simplicity is a step back, erasing hashtags, trending stories, and DMs, and that’s exactly what we need. Its simple feed, unmarred by ads and noisy content, lets everyone connect in the goofy, lighthearted ways that we can really use right now.
In a reply to a user on Threads, head of Instagram Adam Mosseri said that the new platform isn’t aimed at replacing Twitter, but to “create a public square for communities… that are interested in less angry conversations.” Even though Mosseri’s use of Twitter’s own language of a “global town square” completely contradicts that claim, this is great for everyone.
Back in its heyday, Twitter was instrumental in creating relationships between brands and their audiences. The nonchalant nature of Twitter’s feed acted as a casual medium for them to get their names out there with creative, sometimes random, posts that didn’t need to meet the stricter criteria of running ads.
Take Slim Jim’s Twitter for example: instead of tweeting boring promotions, the company went over the top and essentially pioneered a branded meme account that weaved memes with tweets about its product. They did this on their Instagram too, and have become an established meme page with 1.3 million followers because of it.
Twitter also gave people a place to be heard and acknowledged by brands through tweet replies. Now, Twitter’s crowded feeds prevent those posts from getting the same impressions and engagement that they once could on the platform.
Threads picked up where Twitter fell off long ago. And in its infancy, it’s proving to be an awesome place to engage with audiences. Opening up the app, we’re met with fun posts that aren’t weighed down by the doom and gloom that now permeate Twitter’s feed. It’s refreshing, and for some, nostalgic.
Threads is nowhere near perfect, and there is plenty of time for Meta to mess it up. It was already off to a questionable start when it came pre-populated with celebrities and content creator accounts and pushed their posts to users, even if they opted to follow all the people they follow on Instagram — a classic case of a platform pedestaling content nobody asked for.
While Threads does come with a feed of semi-unsolicited content, it still doesn’t have any ads, and that’s a major win. According to Mosseri, they don’t seem to be a priority right now either. Plus, Mosseri also said that a following-only feed is on the to-do list. That means, for the time being, we can all enjoy a clean place to connect with each other.
Brands should make the most of this opportunity and secure their spots on the platform ASAP. Jump in and shoot out a post to test the waters with your followers. Some brands are already having a field day establishing their presence on the app.
It’s unlikely that Threads will maintain and improve its clean form long — it’s a Meta platform. But there hasn’t been any place with such easy access to audiences, ideas, and dialogue for awhile, so as long as Threads is this clean and pure, let’s enjoy it while we can.