It launched. The “new” rival to Twitter. And there have been many attempts to become serious players in the social media space. Read the list of Launch > Defunction > Acquisition > Milestone.
Meta will be closely watching our early behaviour on the platform. What we do now may well influence the features, algorithm and future they build for Threads.
This is a rare opportunity to scale a new social media site backed by someone with the money and experience to do it differently (and frankly, Zuck needs some good publicity). Meta will start by doing everything to prove they are not Twitter, not Musk and will be using all their experience and expertise to make Threads a success. They probably won’t be able to resist monetising Threads in due course, but right now this is terraforming in real time. It’s exciting to watch and fun to participate.
How will ThreadsApp play out? My thoughts based on having being a social media user since August 2007 including 7 themes to watch are below. But first… what was ea
Halcyon days of the past
What was it like being on social media in 2007 – 2012?
At the time I was in London, part of a group which met in a cafe every Friday and shared, learned together and hacked our way through what had changed on blogs and social in the past week. We all learned a ton and it was a free-flowing exchange of ideas IRL which bonded us. We discouraged advertising and direct selling. We worked together based on what people said, did and knew.
Hats off to Lloyd Davies who founded the Tuttle Club group and thank you for introducing me to amazing bloggers (because those were our roots) like Euan , Kevin Whatley, Jemima Gibbons, SoloBass Steve Lawson, Toby Moores, Adriana Lukas, Mike Sizemore. You know who you are.
The free-for-all nature of discovering and learning was a heady drug. It was untainted by marketers and salesfolk. We read and liked and followed what interested us.
Yes the feed was a “firehose” which was unfiltered. But the scale was mostly manageable.
It was peppered with cute and meaningless features like “Pokes” and Throwing Sheep…. really.
Social media now
Today this world is transformed into a money making machine. From both sides – advertisers and brands chucking out messages, links, offers and “exclusive” discounts while users are far more tribal, abusive and clustered into pockets of mutual interest around news, sport and politics.
From a brand point of view it’s not all bad.
But we have had to get used to the slow inevitability of what Cory Doctorow calls the “enshittification” of each and every social media platform.
When a company is neither disciplined by competition nor by regulation, enshittification inevitably ensues.
They move from fun playground, to competitive boxing ring, to the gradual withdrawal of beneficial privileges into a paid-only format. Each step makes the experience less fun, less participative (unless you pay) and makes us ever more skilful at muting, filtering and speed reading. The pleasure and
The promise of Threads
What should you do now?
Dive over there now and join ThreadsApp (it’s in the App and Play Stores). When you get there, read and watch and learn and understand what a “pure” social media network is like before the negative influences start to dominate.
It’s fun. It’s a new frontier of simplicity.
Yes much of the first 24 hours of posts were themed around “what’s happening here?” and “what do I do now?”. But this will improve and develop.
What I’ve noticed so far.
- Most of us are only following people we already know on Instagram. But it does give a home-grown advantage to users who have a large following. This will change.
- Much of the featureset is familiar including quotes, retweets, carousels and comments. There is NO edit button. Interestingly, there’s no way to do a “thread” on threads…. you just have to comment on your original post. This will change.
- Many people are ‘muting’ accounts which don’t align with what they want to read/follow/learn. The self-preservation filtering process has already begun, and will continue. This won’t change.
- Folks using it in the same way they already use other social platforms for marketing / sales purposes are like tumbleweed. Nobody engages with a obviously sales-y link. This won’t change.
- Links off the site which are combined with an engaging message, question or observation get comments and replies. This won’t change.
- You can’t delete the Threads App without also deleting Instagram. So Meta’s leopard isn’t changing its spots. This won’t change.
- Currently there’s no filtering possible. Frustrating for me as I like to create the environment I want to hang out in. Th
My warning to marketers
As an industry we have a TERRIBLE track record of spotting a great opportunity and then (frankly speaking) shi*tting iin our own nest as we kill off the lovely thing we found with promotions, adverts and offers. This spoils it for us all.
Don’t do it.
Build your brand with meaningful, on-brand conversational posts and messages.
Yes if you have to link off the social platform to your site, do it. BUT remember the social platforms all understand how to manipulate, human psychology and behavioural economics. They will work to keep visitors on their platform and prevent them from leaving. Any way they can.
I’ve already spotted this when clicking a link to an article on a newspaper from Threads… I read it, clicked another link within that article, read another page, clicked the back button and instead of going to the first newspaper article, it went right back to Threads. Cute. I had to re-click the original link a second time to get back and finish reading the article. That sort of behaviour by me (a consumer) is unusual, it’s only driven by me REALLY wanting to read… most would give up and shrug their shoulders and go back to scrolling Threads.
You’re probably not fulfilling your marketing goals by trying to drive traffic to your owned assets. Work harder to build engagement around topics that align with your brand mission and. which showcase your unique wonderfulness.
And get over there and have a play around.
We all have the chance to build what the future will look like. As I said at the start of this post, Meta will be closely watching our early behaviour on the platform.
Don’t F*CK IT UP, please. For all our sakes.