What you need to know about Threads?
Twitter’s dominance of the social media landscape is about to be challenged by Threads, an app developed by Meta (formerly known as Facebook).
Even with millions of downloads, Threads has yet to rival Twitter’s popularity. A brief overview of Threads, its similarities to Twitter, its limitations, and its implications for European users, as well as data privacy concerns and celebrities joining the platform, is presented in this article.
How does Threads work?
Instagram is the renowned photo-sharing social network owned by Facebook, and Threads is its text-based companion app. To use Threads, users must already have an Instagram account.
In his vision for Meta, Mark Zuckerberg envisions a user base of one billion, or about half of Instagram’s current users. With Threads, users can replicate their Instagram accounts seamlessly from Instagram. Accounts that are verified on Instagram are also verified on Threads, ensuring a seamless transition.
Similarities between threads and tweets:
With Threads, users are limited to 500 characters per post, can attach a picture or five minutes of video, and can reply. Threads lacks certain key features, including search, hashtags, and following-only feeds. The content displayed is instead algorithmically generated, which deviates from the personalised experience of following specific accounts.
Users in Europe should be aware of the following implications:
The launch of Threads coincides with the implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and other regulations governing major tech companies in the European Union. In accordance with these laws, Threads and Instagram would not be allowed to merge personal data between products. Due to these hurdles, it is uncertain when Meta will be able to comply with European regulations.
Concerns regarding data privacy:
The way Meta handles personal data raises concerns. In Threads’ terms of service, users are required to grant extensive tracking permissions, reinforcing Meta’s targeted advertising model. The challenge here is for the European regulators, who are committed to safeguarding the privacy and data protection of their users.
Companies and celebrities on Threads:
Threads has attracted several notable figures and organizations, including Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Stephen Curry, Pharrell Williams, and Oprah Winfrey.
Official Threads accounts have also been established by Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Coca-Cola. In spite of this, some prominent Instagram influencers have yet to adopt the new platform, including Lionel Messi, Dwayne Johnson, Justin Bieber, and Beyoncé.
Meta’s attempt to rival Twitter has gained significant traction since its launch. While Threads shares similarities with Twitter, it currently lacks crucial features and struggles to comply with European regulations.