This morning (6 July 2023), Meta, Facebook’s and Instagram’s parent company, officially launched Threads, a Twitter clone. While there has been numerous attempts by other firms to copy Twitter, this is the first time that a big tech, Meta, has taken on Twitter.
It’s launched in over 100 countries, including Singapore.
In a somewhat surprising move, the new app Threads doesn’t prominently feature its parent company’s name, Meta, as one might expect.
Instead, the branding leans heavily into its Instagram connection. The word “Instagram” is prominently displayed and associated with Threads at every opportunity.
The full name of the app is presented as “Threads, an Instagram app,” and even the developer is listed as “Instagram,” further cementing its connection to the popular photo-sharing platform.
This strategic branding decision sends a clear message about the target audience for Threads. It’s evident that Mark Zuckerberg, the tech mogul behind Meta, isn’t aiming to attract the older demographic that primarily uses Facebook or WhatsApp.
Instead, by aligning Threads so closely with Instagram, it seems the focus is on reaching a younger, more social media-savvy audience that’s already familiar with and engaged on the Instagram platform.
So, what’s Threads and why it’s such a big deal?
Everything About Threads, Meta’s (Successful) Attempt to Clone Twitter
Let’s talk about Threads, Meta’s Twitter Doppelgänger.
You might have heard about Threads amidst the whole Mark-Zuckerberg-versus-Elon-Musk drama. The two tech titans had a bit of a squabble over this new app.
The app was supposed to make its grand entrance at 10AM on 6 July Eastern Time (that’s 10PM for us in Singapore), but they jumped the gun and released it at 7PM on 5 July instead (or 7AM on 6 July for us).
So, yes, you can already download Threads if you’re in Singapore.
To get started, you’ll need an Instagram account. Once you open the app, you’ll see the familiar Instagram colours in the Threads logo.
After signing up, you can choose to follow the same peeps you follow on Instagram, provided they’ve also hopped onto Threads. Some big names like Shakira and Gordon Ramsay are already on board, and there are whispers that Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama might join too. A certain annoying blue cat that’s always scolding people in Singapore is also rumoured to have joined, too.
Visually, Threads is a spitting image of Twitter, but with a few tweaks. Retweets are now “reposts” and tweets are “threads”.
This isn’t the first time Meta has taken a leaf out of a rival’s book. Remember Instagram’s Reels feature from 2020? Yeah, that was a TikTok clone. Remember Snapchat? Well, no one does because its clone, Instagram Story, is now the OG.
Threads posts can be up to 500 characters long, almost double Twitter’s 280-character limit, and you can post videos up to five minutes long.
You can also share posts as links on other platforms. And just like on other social media platforms, you can unfollow, block, restrict or report other users, and filter out replies with certain words.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, over five million users have signed up since it was launched four hours ago. Goody Feed is one out of the five million users, so follow us here (from Instagram to Threads)!
As of now, popular local media outlets like Mothership and The Smart Local are already on Threads, and mainstream media have also jumped on the bandwagon.
Now, with Meta infamous for killing its competitor with a clone (RIP, Snapchat), would this be yet another Story, or would it fail like how Reels failed to overthrow TikTok?
How It Feels
As someone who regularly uses both Instagram and Twitter, my initial impression of Threads is that it feels like a hybrid of the two platforms. It successfully merges elements from both, creating a unique yet familiar social media experience.
The essence of Twitter, with its fast-paced, real-time updates and conversations, is very much present in Threads. This familiarity is comforting and makes the transition to using Threads quite seamless.
Moreover, many of the brands and personalities that I follow and enjoy on Twitter have already made their way to Threads. This immediate presence of familiar faces and voices on the platform further enhances the user experience and makes Threads feel like a natural extension of my existing social media landscape.
Twitter should be worried. Very worried.
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