Meta’s new Twitter rival Threads was a long time coming, and unexpectedly went live earlier than planned. If its related to Twitter’s rate limit on how many tweets a user can read per day, I won’t be surprised.
Since the launch of the text-based social media app, Mark Zuckerberg has been sharing updates on how many users joined the platform.
After an initial 10 million sign ups in seven hours, it is now a staggering 70 million users after a day. It is on track to overtake the fastest downloaded app, chatbot ChatGPT, who gained 100-million users in two months, according to data from Similarweb.
Post by @zuckView on Threads
Threads is linked to Instagram – it’s made by the same team, and its official name is “Threads, an Instagram app”, which means its easier for existing users to sign up because your Instagram username gets carried over to Threads.
It will copy your profile picture, bio, verification status if applicable, and the people you follow, should you wish to carry it across. So getting started is really easy, and could arguably be the reason its growing so fast, it feels like less effort to join.
As a text-based app like Twitter, it also has character limits. Twitter offers regular unverified users 280 characters, whereas Threads offers 500. It also lets you add up to 10 pictures and videos.
The type of accounts you follow on Threads is not the same as Instagram, well for me at least, despite being compared to each other. Instagram is more about the visuals, aesthetic and multimedia content, whereas Threads and Twitter drive conversation, debate, opinions around the news, current topics, sport, etc. There is less pressure to post a picture if you want to say something.
Why should you get Threads?
If you’re on Twitter and hate what Elon Musk has done to it, Threads will appeal to you. The rate limit that was put in place from 1 July due to “data scraping and system manipulation”. Over the weekend, verified users could view 6 000 posts per day, and unverified users 600 posts, which made Twitter basically unusable. The limits have increased to 10 000 for verified and 1 000 for unverified.
This felt like the last straw for most users who were only too happy to download Threads, like myself. It is still very early days, but it appears to be a positive space thus far; and judging from my limited bubble, people are loving it.
There are some key features missing coming from other long-standing social media apps, like the ability to see a main feed of those you follow, hashtags, character count and search. There are other niggles and bugs, which will hopefully be addressed with updates.
Post by @nafisaView on Threads
What’s the experience like so far?
Credit to Meta and Instagram for launching a slick app with a great user experience. It can be confusing the first time you use it because of the messy homepage but that’s because you’re being shown stuff you may be interested in. While you can follow people, their updates gets mixed with whatever else is recommended to you. Both Zuckerberg and Instagram head Adam Mosseri have confirmed that a dedicated following feed is coming. They’ve also said that ads is not a priority right now. We can’t be naive to think it will always be the case but for now, it seems to be a great app as a true competitor to Twitter.
I’m treating it like a fresh start for a social media app, I’ve not auto-followed my Instagram follows because the content is different. One key thing to note, if you try to delete your Threads account, it will delete your IG account. You’d have to deactivate it instead.
And lastly, privacy. You need to know upfront what data the app will collect on you. I think if you’re already on Facebook or Instagram, Meta already has a lot of data on you, but still, good to know what you’re giving up, if you choose to.
Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing how it establishes itself, the undoubted upcoming updates, and what it actually does to Twitter – if it can properly replace it because right now, I’m over Twitter.
Recharged is an independent site that focuses on technology, electric vehicles, and the digital life by Nafisa Akabor. Drawing from her 16-year tech journalism career, expect news, reviews, how-tos, comparisons, and practical uses of tech that are easy to digest. firstname.lastname@example.org