Wait, what are we actually using Threads for?

Wait, what are we actually using Threads for?

by Juliette Eleuterio
12 min

Two weeks ago, Threads was the word on everyone’s lips. The public (more than likely staged) billionaire face off between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk set to transpire into an actual cage fight, “wow can you believe Zuck completely copied Twitter?”, everyone rushing to download the app, hundreds and hundreds of new follower notifications rolled over from Instagram, random shower thoughts, memes about not knowing what to post of Threads, Elon tweeting “Zuck is a c*ck”, and now… it’s cricket noises.

For those of you who haven’t downloaded Threads it’s basically a carbon copy of Twitter minus the use of a keyword search option, but that’s something we’ll get into later. From content creators showing off fit pics with their iced matcha to Breaking Bad memes, you’ll find everything you’ve already seen on your IG feed sprinkled in with some casual tweet-like (they basically are tweets though) captions or threads… we still don’t know what to actually call them. 

Post by @parishilton
View on Threads

If you’re not sold on it yet, don’t worry because it seems as though the Threads interest is dropping real quick. Data analyst company SimilarWeb reports that on July 7, the day after the app’s launch, there were 49 million active daily users and that by July 14, a mere week later, the number dropped to 23.6 million users, cutting down the usage by around half. Just to give you an idea, Twitter has 206 million active daily users. Not much of a competition anymore…

So why is Threads kind of flopping right now? Let’s dial back to the keyword search bar feature. Unlike Twitter, Threads doesn’t allow you to search keywords through its search bar, only usernames. It doesn’t have a trending page nor does it use hashtags, so apart from the transfer of all your followers/followings on IG, it’s actually really hard to navigate your way around the app. In fact, it’s practically impossible to find your niche community on Threads, unless you were already following a user part of that niche on Instagram who themselves decided to download and post on Threads.

Post by @fashi0nboy
View on Threads

This whole Twitter versus Threads is sort of reminiscent of the Musical.ly to TikTok pipeline. While ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, bought out Musical.ly in 2018, two years after the launch of TikTok, the new app has become something completely different to what the lip syncing preceding platform once was. While TikTok’s early days were definitely filled with lip syncing videos, features on the app like duetting and the ability to upload non-musically backed clips allowed the app to grow into an entity of its own, generating different types of content and catering to new audiences.

Right now, Threads is way too similar to Twitter for it to actually make an impact. Sure, being part of Meta and directly affiliated to Instagram definitely helps in making a splash in the social media sphere, but it’s not enough to convince all of the long-time Twitter users to move over to this new app. It’s like the saying goes: why fix something that isn’t broken? Except for a questionable new owner, Twitter doesn’t really need a new version of itself.

Post by @bigbird
View on Threads

It’s not a complete lost cause for Threads though. For the app to actually stand out and grow, it needs to differentiate itself from Twitter, with features that are unique to the app. But for now, Threads just seems to be a ploy in a childish chronically online feud between two of the richest men on Earth… and that still doesn’t answer our question of what the h*ll we’re supposed to post on there.

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