Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and more, has a long history of blatantly copying products from other high-growth companies, or simply buying them out and folding them under their huge brand.
It should come as no surprise, then, that less than a year after billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter and began relentlessly tearing up the 17-year-old app, leading to changes that disappointed much of his user base, Mark Zuckerberg and his team created their own released version. of the app, Threads, which looks and feels almost identical to the original Twitter.
In fact, the name is a direct reference to the threading functionality that users of the Twitter app invented in response to the original character limits it supported.
Many of Twitter’s most basic features, such as @messaging users and using # hashtags becomes too emulated by the Threads app as a way to make the new application feel as familiar as possible to users looking for a haven for an app they used to love but has lately become a cesspool of negativity that conspiracy theories and voices that serve to oppose.
Many of the application’s users report that the content generally feels more positive and constructive, and in the same breath reminisce about what Twitter felt like in its early years, as a place to share what’s going on in your life, and the first social network of its kind where you can connect and interact directly with strangers, including celebrities and leaders of any industry you might be interested in.
While Reportedly Twitter’s top users have generally used the application less since Musk’s acquisition last year, the social network still has many fans, especially those who like the billionaire’s specific brand of “free speech”, which is the kind of expression of course seems to elevate he personally feels he needs protection, rather than a truly democratic version of the term.
Just as millions have flocked to the new application, some refer to the app as the boring version of Twitter, which it seems to be about for now. After only a few days on the market, Threads is already gone accused of censorship by more right-wing voices because of the community guidelines supposedly designed to reduce misinformation.
Still, there is clearly a demand for a Twitter-like application that feels different. In its first week of existence, Threads had nearly 100 million users, more a testament to the pent-up demand than the novelty of the app, as it instantly attracts users who already existed on Instagram, a company that Meta owns. with a seamless account creation process.
The initial reception of Threads has been generally positive, if not grudging, given the overall negative sentiment that Meta as a company and Mark Zuckerberg as a leader has received in recent years with people’s genuine concerns about user data privacy and its own role in spreading disinformation.
But will the app’s initial hype prove to be lasting? That will largely depend on user enthusiasm as the social network matures over time. There’s no guarantee that Threads will maintain its relatively feel-good reputation it built over time at launch, as most social networks have proven to degrade in quality over time as their algorithms reward provocation .
But at a time when it seems almost impossible to avoid internet arguments and negativity, let’s take a moment to enjoy a glimpse of what an online community can look like when it focuses on people’s positive impulses versus speaking to the lowest common denominator in society.